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Thursday, June 28, 2012
A new agreement to allow Irish couples to resume adopting children from Vietnam is due to be concluded this week.
The news comes in the wake of high-level talks between the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, the Adoption Authority, and a visiting delegation of Vietnamese officials.
These discussions are believed to have focused on addressing ethical concerns which have been raised about adoption practices in Vietnam and ensuring that the country is now fully compliant with the Hague Convention.
The Vietnamese delegation is also understood to have met with the two bodies accredited in Ireland to work with Vietnam.
Sources have indicated to the Irish Examiner that the pact will allow adoptions to resume in the latter part of this year.
Ireland ceased adopting children from Vietnam after it chose not to resume its bilateral agreement in May 2009 following concerns raised by in Unicef.
It claimed the availability of children related more to demand from prospective adoptive parents than to the needs of orphaned children.
The US had suspended adoptions from Vietnam in 2008 after it uncovered evidence of baby selling and "baby farming". It is believed Ireland’s decision was influenced by similar concerns.
Despite Vietnam ratifying the Hague Convention earlier this year, the US still believes the country is not "fully Hague-compliant".
Under the Adoption Act 2010, Ireland can only adopt from countries which have ratified the convention or with which Ireland has a bilateral agreement.
Vietnam has continually ranked among the most popular countries of origin for intercountry adoption, with at least 10,000 children adopted from there in the last decade.
Ireland has adopted more than 700 children from Vietnam between 2002 and 2011 — more than three times the number Canada adopted and significantly more than countries such as Sweden and Switzerland.
Only from Russia did Ireland adopt more children in this period.
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