Tougher adoption regulations needed

Date: 2008-08-23

Orphans at the Humanity Assistance Center of Y Yen District in Nam Dinh Province.

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.

Reported by Thanh Phong

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