On Monday, January 28, the DOS issued a warning adoptions from Vietnam: (travel.state.gov/family/adoption/intercountry/intercountry_3939.html) Ethica then published their statement about the status of adoption from Vietnam. (http://www.ethicanet.org/item.php?recordid=vietnam&pagestyle=default).
PEAR commends and fully supports both the DOS and Ethica for their efforts to oversee that adoptions between the US and Vietnam are done in an ethical and transparent manner. We are in agreement with the warnings issued and the statements following those warnings by both Ethica and the US Department of State.
When adoptions between the US and Vietnam resumed under the terms of agreement of the current MOU in 2005, one of the most salient conditions was that the DIA (Department of International Adoption in Vietnam) publish a fee schedule for adoptions. To date this has not been done, and this failure remains a major obstacle in renewing the MOU.
In addition, there have been numerous reports of ethical violations by employees of US-based Adoption Service Providers (agencies) as well as by orphanage and provincial authorities in Vietnam since the resumption of adoptions. There are at present 26 US families who have received Notices of Intent to Deny (NOIDs) from DOS in Hanoi, indicating that the paperwork involved in these adoptions appears to contain irregularities warranting further investigation. Other serious allegations of unethical behaviors include money being paid to orphanages, a wide disparity in cost of adoptions from one agency to another, agencies bidding against each other to procure children, the coecion of birth mothers to give up their children, and orphan paperwork being falsified. The province of Phu Tho has recently been closed to all US adoptions.
There are currently over 2,000 US families who have filed paperwork to adopt from Vietnam, and the DOS statement has naturally caused great concern among them, as well as in the US Vietnam adoption community. Prospective parents fear that
adoptions from Vietnam could be suspended if not shut down completely. PEAR understand that this is a difficult and unnerving time for these families and fully supports them while awaiting further clarification from DOS as to the status of the MOU.