Tougher adoption regulations needed

Reported by Thanh Phong
Authorities want to tighten regulations on adoption following recent allegations of forged documents in northern Nam Dinh Province.

Early this week, police were seeking forgery charges against the heads of two charity centers in Nam Dinh.

At a meeting in Hanoi Friday to review the three years since the Convention on Adoption between Vietnam and the U.S was implemented, experts recommended stricter regulations to manage adoption.
Financial aid to orphanages should be handled solely by the Ministry of Justice’s Department of International Adoptions (DIA), the department’s director Vu Duc Long said.
He said related authorities were considering restructuring adoption procedures to prevent direct contact between international adoption agencies and orphanages. DIA would connect the two.
He said it would prevent possible unhealthy relations between the agencies and orphanages.
“The financial aid in cash and flexible financial structures have created loopholes in adoption,” Long said.
“It has offered opportunities for unhealthy relations between international adoption agencies and the orphanages.”
DIA’s Vice Head Le Thi Hoang Yen said: “We are very worried with the recent fake adoption documents. We had been confident about the legitimacy of documents appraised by police. But in recent cases in Nam Dinh Province, there were fakes which police appraised.”
Recently, 134 U.S. senators – including Barrack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John D. Rockefeller IV – and hundreds of adoption associations and 8,460 U.S. residents petitioned for the extension of the Convention on Adoption between Vietnam and the U.S., after the U.S. decided not to extend the convention when it expires September 1.
DIA’s statistics show 1,700 Vietnamese children have been adopted by families in the U.S. since the convention between the two countries took effect in 2005.
The Ministry of Justice has authorized 69 international adoption agencies to operate in Vietnam, of which 42 agencies were from the U.S. Orphans at the Humanity Assistance Center of Y Yen District in Nam Dinh Province.
Nam Dinh Police were seeking charges against the center’s director, Tran Thi Luong, early this week for allegedly faking babies’ documents.

Who is to blame for the corruption?

As luck would have it, I found a piece written by Marcie Picklesimer, an adoptive mother addressing, "Vietnam corrupts adoptions?"

The US Embassy is reporting that Vietnam is “allowing” corruption, fraud, and baby-selling”.

The new report is a nine page report detailing brokers who “scour villages for babies, hospitals selling infants whose mothers cannot pay their bills, and a grandmother giving away her grandchild-without telling the child’s mother.”

Vietnam is denying these claims stating that orphanage directors possibly take bribes but baby-selling is not an issue.

What happens in several cases is that adoption agencies provide donations to orphanages in return for referrals. If referrals are scarce orphanages will then go “scouting” for children to refer to the adoption agencies. This, unfortunately, is where the fraud comes in to play.

However, perhaps the entire system is somewhat fraudulent? If the adoption agencies were not funding the orphanages through donations (the main source of income) then the orphanage would not feel pressure to find children?

At this time Vietnam adoptions are very popular among US families, especially after Angelina Jolie’s adoption of Pax. Adoptions were up over 400 percent last year.

The current Vietnam/US adoption agreement expires on September 1. The US is suggesting a similar DNA test to Guatemala to help prevent fraud.

The US has also recommended that US adoptive parents not begin any new paperwork with Vietnam.

[What are the chances I just posted a piece discussing the same problem taking place in Guatemala? ]   

In terms of urging Americans wishing to adopt NOT to begin any paperwork with "corrupt countries", please read the following, and learn how these sort of "recommendations" go:

In 2004, UNICEF singled out Guatemala as "the worst country in the world" for adoption irregularities and lack of legal controls. In 2006, UNICEF identified Guatemala as fourth in the world in providing babies for adoption. As a proportion of total population, the country ranked first. The business has grown over the years such that, in 1996, 427 adoptions were recorded. In 2005, the number had grown to 3,783; in 2006, the number was 4,135.

About 90% of the adoptions are by people from the US. As a group, these voracious prospective parents seem entirely unconcerned with how their babies are obtained. When the US finally issued Guatemala an ultimatum on the adoption racket and threatened to cut off visas, the number of applications actually grew, as prospective parents pressed to gush through a loophole that would allow any adoptions in process to continue. In the last six months, 2,136 visas for Guatemalan babies have been issued.

Clearly, the problem involves (or dare I say "revolves around") Americans wanting to adopt, regardless of the many warnings not to.  Now with Europe getting involved in the International Adoption Scene, the problems are going to only get worse before they get better, unless something radical changes this course of child trafficking.

Who's to blame for the corruption that has resulted from "too much demand and not enough and supply"?  One can only begin to question.

More importantly, who is going to pay for the aftermath all this deceit is creating... the governments, or the adoptees and their families?

Generations to come...

There will not be a generation skipped; no one will be exempt from the carnage of adoption that will go on to
affect those who are not even born yet.  Think of all your grandchildren who will not know where they really came
from; ancestors are a part of life, everyone has them... shouldn't everyone be allowed to know them and of them?

The corruption is just now being brought out into the open but there is so much more hidden that has to be made
known before others start to care.  I think adoption is somewhere in the lives of everyone, whether it's family or
friends or neighbors, and right now people still seem to be in the honeymoon stage and happy, happy, happy for
everyone they know who has that child they so desperately wanted.  I can't help but relate AP's with childish
wants.  Remember the hoola-hoop that everyone HAD to have? No?  How about the Cabbage Patch dolls that people
were willing to pay hundreds of dollars for because stores ran out of them before Christmas?  You can buy them on eBay
for a couple dollars, now.  It's not a coincidence that the "stars" are adopting and that sheeple (people are like sheep)
are following as quickly as they can mortgage their homes or whatever it takes.  It gets corrupt and more corrupt as
the demand outweighs the supply.

Who is to blame?  People who have made human beings into objects and turn their heads as long as they get theirs.

"I can be changed by what happens to me, I refuse to be reduced by it." M.A.
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