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March 15, 2011 / straitstimes.com
WASHINGTON - A US ENVOY will head this week to Vietnam and Cambodia to look at ways to resume adoptions, which have been suspended due to concerns over child trafficking, the State Department said on Monday.
Susan Jacobs, the special US adviser on children's issues, will head on Wednesday to the South-east Asian countries for talks with officials and other stakeholders on adoption, the department said.
The United States suspended adoptions from Cambodia in 2001 and from Vietnam in 2008. In Vietnam, a US probe found that some adoption rackets were paying US$10,000 (S$12,660) 'donations' to orphanages to claim falsely that infants were abandoned.
The State Department, in a statement, said it 'welcomes Vietnam's strong efforts to create a child welfare system and an inter-country adoption process that will meet its obligations' under the Hague treaty on adoptions.
The United States is the world's largest source of adoptive parents. Other countries have also been moving to restart adoptions in South-east Asia, with Cambodia drafting regulations for children to be adopted by French parents. -- AFP