A Vietnamese Perspective on Adoptive Relationships — Blood is Thicker than Water

Sadly, in certain cultures (including Vietnamese), the non-biological parent-child relationship tends to be given second-class status, viewed at somewhat askance, with a suspicion that perhaps becomes its own self-fulfilling prophecy. Idiomatic expressions such as “Blood is thicker than water” (or, “Một giọt máu đào hơn ao nước lã”) preserve this cultural supremacy of blood ties.

In my experience, more often than not the adopted child (con nuôi; “nuôi” means to raise or care for, and is also…