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300 infants illegally put up for adoption


NAM DINH — Around 300 under five-year-olds have allegedly been falsely put up for adoption abroad in the northern province of Nam Dinh since 2006, provincial police reported.

The heads of two communal healthcare centres were arrested last month under suspicion of forging State adoption documents and of making up bogus histories for the infants, said Nam Dinh Investigative Police Department.

Tran Ngoc Lam, who lives in Nam Dinh City, allegedly picked up abandoned children in the province and took them to healthcare centres in Yen Tien and Yen Luong communes. The centres’ directors, Vu Dinh Loi and Truong Cong Lich, allegedly forged fake birth certificates for the children so they could be put up for adoption.

The children were then sent to centres for disabled children in Y Yen and Truc Ninh districts.

It is believed Y Yen’s Centre for Disabled Children, which was established two years ago and which has a seasonal nursing staff of just four, had, by June 21, sold 100 infants to foreign child adoption organisations.

Meanwhile, Truc Ninh’s Social Protection Centre, which was established in early 2005, has allegedly put 221 infants illegally up for foreign adoption.

According to Nam Dinh’s Department for Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, inspectors found five heavily pregnant women staying at the centre when it was raided.

The investigation was launched following an anonymous letter that claimed the centres were engaged in child trafficking. There had also been rumours circulating among local residents that the centres were selling babies abroad.

The Department’s Child Care and Protection Division reported that they had found 11 infants, aged two to five months, at the Y Yen centre. They are now been taken care of at the provincial Social Protection Centre.

Nam Dinh Investigation Police Department was also looking into the case, said department director Nguyen Ngoc Kha. — VNS

2008 Jul 15