Progress over Vietnam adoptions


Minister for Children Barry Andrews has reported “good progress” in talks with Vietnam on the resumption of adoption between the two countries.

Ireland’s bilateral agreement with Vietnam lapsed on May 1st last after five years, giving rise to dismay among prospective adoptive parents caught up in the process. They have been lobbying their public representatives, who in turn have been putting pressure on Mr Andrews to resolve the matter urgently.

A statement released by his office this evening said Mr Andrews had met Minister for Justice of Vietnam, Ha Hung Cuong, on June 30th and there were further follow up discussions with other Vietnamese officials this week.

At the meetings, it was proposed to continue the focus on a new bilateral agreement, the statement added. “Work on the draft text of the new bilateral agreement, previously circulated in March and discussed in April, continued during the week.

“Good progress was made and during the course of the discussions a clear path towards resolution on outstanding issues was identified. It was also agreed that further face-to-face discussions to finalise these issues would take place in August.”

The statement said it was not possible to say when adoptions between Ireland and Vietnam would resume.  Ireland will enact new legislation on adoption, including inter-country adoption, this year.

It emerged earlier this year that Ireland did not renew the bilateral adoption agreement with Vietnam because of concerns about adoption procedures there. This followed the publication last year of a negative report from the US authorities on inter-country adoptions in Vietnam, leading to the US ending adoptions from there.

In a report published in April 2008, the US State Department identified a number of problems with foreign adoptions from Vietnam. The issues centre on whether the children are genuinely available for adoption, and whether and how much money changes hands in the adoption process.