Law markers discuss child adoption by foreigners

At the meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee to discuss the Bill on Adoption September 16, many important issues were considered, including what agency will be in charge of putting children up for adoption by foreigners.

September 17, 2009 / saigon-gpdaily.com.vn

Under current procedures, adoption centers can take on three roles simultaneously: receiving and caring for children; receiving humanitarian donations from individuals and organizations; and introducing children to potential adoptive parents.

However, the reality has proved that such a process is likely to lead to negative actions. For example, preference is often given to those who donate more money.

To improve the situation, the bill suggested that the Ministry of Justice be in charge of introducing children for adoption by foreigners.

“That introduction is a step of the process of adoption and should be controlled by a State agency. It is most reasonable that the task should be assigned to the Department of International Adoption under the Ministry of Justice,” Deputy Minister of Justice Dinh Trung Tung said at the meeting.

”There remains a trend of running after benefits in the introduction of children for adoption by foreigners,” he added.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the NA Law Committee, Nguyen Van Thuan, said that such an assignment is not in accordance with the ministry’s state management function.

The ministry should only play the role of an effective inspector and the introduction of adoption should be taken on by social organizations, he recommended.

Agreeing that priority must be given to protecting adopted children’s rights and interests, some members of the NA Standing Committee demand a regulation that children nine-years-old upward have the right to select who will adopt them.

The draft law should adopt a regulation on suitable conditions through which such children can voice their opinions, the chairman of the NA Committee for Culture, Education, Youth and Children, Dao Trong Thi, said.

The Ministry of Justice said that the bill is based on the concept that priority is given to local people and then adoption by foreigners as the last resort.

The draft law also extends the time limit for finding domestic families to adopt orphans and other needy children from 30 to 90 days before they are put up for adoption by foreigners, the ministry said.

According to preliminary statistics, during the past five years, more than 20,000 children nationwide were adopted, 13,000 by Vietnamese and the remainder by foreigners.

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