Adoption agencies under investigation

Date: 2008-07-13

Authorities in the northern province of Nam Dinh are investigating two local charity organizations for their alleged involvement in dubious adoption paperwork.

The Humanity Assistance Center (HAC) of Y Yen District and the Social Assistance Center (SAC) of Truc Ninh District have carried out over 300 adoptions of under-five-year-old children since 2005.

Tuoi Tre newspaper quoted an unnamed source as saying that police had arrested three people, including two communal health officials, for allegedly faking papers documenting the origins of babies they claimed to have found.

The source said the children were then sent to HAC.

As of June 21 this year, 100 children had been adopted at HAC since it opened in March 2006.

Nguyen Dinh Nguyen, an official of the Nam Dinh’s Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, said about 220 adoptions by foreigners had been performed at the SAC out of 242 deserted children it received since 2005.

The authorities found 11 two- to six-month-old babies at the HAC and five pregnant women at the SAC during their inspections.

In a report released in April, the US embassy in Hanoi claimed the Vietnamese adoption system was riddled with corruption and fraud.

Vu Duc Long, director of the Justice Ministry’s Department of International Adoptions, rejected the allegations, which he said were “groundless” and “unreliable.”

An Associated Press report quoted US adoption agencies active in Vietnam as saying that most adoptions in the country were ethical.

Vietnam later decided not to renew a 2005 adoption agreement with the US when it expires on September 1.

Source: Tuoi Tre

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