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A Vietnamese court sentenced three people to jail terms ranging from three to seven years for trafficking babies and selling them to an orphanage in Ninh Binh. An additional 12 accomplices were given suspended sentences. They were convicted of selling 12 infants for 130 million dong (approximately $7,600 US) between April 2006 and May 2008. The deputy director of the orphanage, To Van An, committed suicide a month after the arrests last year.

A report from the Associated Press says:

Of the 12 babies sold to the center in Ninh Binh, six were adopted by citizens from the United States, France and Canada, five were transferred to the center in Hoa Binh, and one was returned to the family of an unwed mother, the judge said.

 The full article can be accessed here.

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13 Comments »

Pingback by Twitted by t_adoption
2009-06-26 21:33:37

[…] This post was Twitted by t_adoption […]

 
Comment by Ruby
2009-06-30 08:18:34

I hope that these hearings were just and not politically expedient, so that the results will bring lasting change to the system and soon the children in need of homes will find one.

 
Comment by Kim Wheaton
2009-06-30 19:19:45

I am wondering about the 6 that were adoption by foreign families – were the familles notified? does anyone know?

Comment by Tracy Subscribed to comments via email
2009-06-30 19:57:44

Kim-

I have wondered the very same thing. I have tried to research this and can’t find anything on these arrests except the same AP story quoted over and over.

Since visas were issued for these children, we must assume that the corruption was discovered (or at least proven) after the adoptions were completed. I’m not sure if the government or the agency would have any obligation to tell the families, though I certainly hope they would. In other cases I have seen like this, it has ended up being the media that alerts the families.

If the families were notified, there is no legal precedent for returning the children to Vietnam. A similar situation happened in Guatemala. Birthmothers whose children had been stolen tracked their children down in the US, but the US families refused to have contact with them and are under no legal obligation to do so (though I would certainly argue that at least having contact with the birthmoms would be best for the children). Check out this video on the Guatemala cases: http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/peopleandpower/2009/06/20096249112454512.html

Comment by Ruby
2009-07-02 09:42:31

There IS a precedent for illegally adopted children having to be returned to their birth families. It happened last year-Samoan children and U.S. adopters.

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Comment by Kim Wheaton
2009-07-02 00:00:04

Thanks for the reply –
no knowledge of what agency either I’m assuming?

Comment by Nicki
2009-07-02 00:25:23

Agency would have to be either Florida Homestudy or LSS of New England since those are the only two agencies from the US licensed in that province.

Comment by Ruby
2009-07-02 17:42:55

Yikes! LSS New England is my agency.

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Comment by Tracy Subscribed to comments via email
2009-07-02 17:51:15

Ruby-

Were those children ordered to be returned, or was it up to the adoptive parents to figure out the best thing to do? I have to admit that I don’t remember the details clearly, but I thought that only one child was actually retruned to Somoa, and that was with the agreement of the adoptive parents. They were not given any sort of legal order to do so. I believe I did read that at least some of those children remaining in the US will have visitation with the birth parents. Am I wrong?

Also, I believe the US citizens convicted only got probation, and the US gov’t could not extradite the guilty parties in Samoa. That is a sad, sad precedent.

Comment by Tracy Subscribed to comments via email
2009-07-02 21:03:45

I might have found an answer to my own question. I found this recent article from People magazine: http://www.scribd.com/doc/17037904/FOC-People-Story.

It says that the US and Samoa came to an agreement that Samoa would not challange the adoptions. It profiles two families. One family voluntarily returned their adopted daughter to Samoa (this is the one I had heard about). The second family kept their adopted daughter but have contact with the birthparents. So, as I understand it, US adoptive familes are still under no legal obligation to return children to their birthparents when fraud is discovered in international adoptions.

Comment by Ruby
2009-07-03 08:46:33

Thanks, Tracy-
I don’t think that I can say that I’m happy for the adoptive parents because no matter what, there is no happy ending in that situation. I do hope that sites like this and groups like ours will prevent this from recurring.
Ruby

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Comment by Kim Subscribed to comments via email
2009-07-10 14:51:21

This is off the topic, but has anyone heard if there was a meeting between the US and Vietnam in Vietnam in May? I thought I read somewhere that there was to be a meeting to discuss a MOA in May. Thanks for any information.

 
Comment by Kim Subscribed to comments via email
2009-07-10 21:24:46

Oops, meant MOU in recent post…

 
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