Jan 8th, 2014 by Christina
In a media note released January 7, the State Department announced that Special Advisor for Children’s Issues, Susan Jacobs, will be traveling to Vietnam, Cambodia and China this week.
While in the region, Special Advisor Jacobs will meet with government officials and non-governmental organizations to discuss the Hague Adoption Convention and strengthening child protection systems.
Special Advisor Jacobs will visit Cambodia and Vietnam, both of which are in the process of implementing the Hague Adoption Convention. She will complete her trip with a visit to China, the top country of origin for intercountry adoptions to the United States to discuss continued cooperation regarding adoption issues.
The Department adds, “For updates on Special Advisor Jacobs’ trip, follow her on Twitter: @ChildrensIssues “
Jan 3rd, 2014 by Christina
Earlier today we received the following statement from a State Department Official in response to our inquiry about the recent story of a family in Vietnam seeking their daughter whom they say was trafficked for international adoption in 2007:
The Department of State takes very seriously the welfare of all children. We are committed to ensuring that intercountry adoption protects children, birth parents, and prospective adoptive parents. We do not comment on individual cases.
The most recent bilateral agreement governing adoptions between the United States and Vietnam was in effect from 2005 to 2008. During that period, hundreds of American families opened their homes to Vietnamese children. In many cases, these adoptions served to place children in a permanent, loving home in a safe and ethical manner. However, the Department also found that in some cases, birth parents had been pressured into placing their children for adoption or consent had not been appropriately obtained. Based on these and other concerns, the two countries mutually agreed not to renew the agreement in 2008.
In February 2012, the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption entered into force for Vietnam. The Government of Vietnam continues its efforts to strengthen its child welfare system and the integrity of its domestic and international adoption processes. In September 2013, Vietnam began accepting applications from U.S. Hague-accredited adoption service providers (ASPs) for authorization to operate a proposed limited intercountry adoption program. The program, if it goes into effect, would allow adoptions of children with special medical needs, children older than five, and children in biological sibling groups of two or more in Vietnam. Intercountry adoptions from Vietnam to the United States remain suspended at this time.
Vietnam’s acceptance of U.S. ASP applications is a positive step and helps to implement the type of ethical and transparent intercountry adoption system required by the Hague Adoption Convention. We will continue to monitor Vietnam’s progress in implementing the Convention and will publish more information on adoption.state.gov as it becomes available.
****Several days ago, VVAI became aware of an article in the Vietnamese press about a Vietnamese family actively seeking their daughter who was adopted at age 6 in 2007 from Tam Ky Child Protection Center in Quang Nam Province. According to the article, the child was awarded the opportunity to stay at the child protection center as a benefit to a daughter of a deceased soldier. The child moved to the center in June 2007, and was adopted in to the United States in October of 2007.The girl’s family had been assured that she would stay in the center and not be adopted.
The editors of VVAI have made efforts to contact the State Department, the US embassy in Hanoi and the adoption agencies that are still in operation that were processing adoptions out of Quang Nam province in 2007.
According to our records, the agencies that were operating in Quang Nam at that time are the following 6 agengices:
Carolina Adoption Services
Commonwealth Adoption International
Hawaii International Child & Family Services, Inc
International Assistance and Adoption Project
Vietnamese Orphans Relief Fund
World Child International
The girl would be aged 12-14 years old at this time, and would have been adopted in the fall of 2007 from Quang Nam Province.
****Edited to add link to Vietnamese English Language article
A notice was posted today on the U.S. Department of State Website concerning necessary steps to take for children adopted from Vietnam to retain their citizenship.
From the notice;
The 2008 citizenship law of Vietnam requires that children adopted from Vietnam before July 1, 2009 must register with overseas Vietnamese diplomatic missions prior to July 1, 2014 to retain their Vietnamese citizenship (Art. 13.2 citizenship law of Vietnam).
Parents who wish their children (who were adopted prior to July 1 2009) to retain the Vietnamese citizenship should complete the process by July 1, 2014. Children adopted after July 1, 2009 automatically retain their citizenship.
For specific information about how to complete the registration process, please go to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Embassy website.