I adopted my daughter from Phu Tho province, Vietnam in the fall of 2006. I have seen, first hand, the lack of integrity that can and does routinely occur both within agencies and within the government and I have seen parents held at the mercy of corruption that occurs despite the system. I have also seen beautiful, ethical adoptions occur and these adoptions have inspired me to actively promote a more thorough education and understanding of adopting with integrity in Vietnam and worldwide.
Christina has adopted two children from SE Asia in 2002 and 2006. Her experience adopting at the time of the U.S. shutdown in Cambodia was eye-opening and led to the creation of a parent-led advocacy group which successfully lobbied for the review and subsequent approval of hundreds of adoptions caught in the pipeline. Her involvement, which included meeting with State Department officials and working with members of Congress, did not end when all the pipeline cases were resolved. Rather it became clear that accountability was sadly lacking in adoptions around the world. The most vulnerable (and yet the most vital) parties in adoptions – children and families – were underrepresented at the table in nearly every discussion. In 2006 she co-founded Voices for Vietnam Adoption Integrity to continue to raise awareness of the need for ethical practices at every step of the adoption process. In 2018 Voices for Vietnam Adoption Integrity changed their name to Voices for Adoption Integrity, recognizing that the struggle is not limited to any one country or program.
I am the mother of three children, one of whom was adopted from Saigon, Vietnam in March of 2007. Through our adoption experience, including our in-country stay, I became even more convinced of the widespread and systematic corruption in Vietnam adoptions. Soon after we came home from Vietnam and I had begun to process all I had seen and heard, I knew that I needed to get involved. The last year has been a steep learning curve of listening and learning as much as I can about adoption practices world wide, with a concentration on what is going on right now in Vietnam. It is my hope and prayer that through involvement we can change the course for the better of adoptions in Vietnam.
I am a mom to a biological son, a daughter adopted from Vietnam, and a son adopted domestically. I became interested in transparency in adoption after we brought our daughter home from Phu Tho, Vietnam, in March 2007. My husband and I were very naive when we began the international adoption process. We thought that all agencies, facilitators, orphanage directors, etc. had the best interests of the orphaned children at heart. Sadly, we learned that adoption is a “business” and that corruption can be widespread. We were bothered by things we saw in-country, and further disappointed by things we learned about our agency and the adoption system in Vietnam once we returned home. I do believe that ethical adoptions are possible, and I hope that by speaking out we can bring about reforms that will allow those children who are truly orphans to find their forever families.