Man to go on hunger strike over stalled Vietnam adoption

A FATHER waiting to adopt a child from Vietnam is to go on hunger strike outside Áras an Úachtaráin tomorrow, in protest at the Government’s delay in agreeing a bilateral agreement with the country.

David Broderick is planning to go on a 24-hour hunger strike this weekend in protest at what he claims is Government inaction on agreeing a bilateral agreement with Vietnam.

Mr Broderick intends to carry out a series of rolling hunger strikes until the Government re-enters negotiations with Vietnam over a new agreement.

Ireland’s previous bilateral agreement with the country expired in May.

Mr Broderick called on the Minister for Children Barry Andrews to make public his specific concerns about adoption procedures in Vietnam.

“After all of the waiting, the assessment and the queuing, we felt we were so close to providing a home to a child. And then Barry Andrews stepped into the equation. We have been met by changing stories from Barry Andrews over the past few months.

“He has, to date, not been willing and appears unable to provide credible information on this whole process. I, along with others, have asked many times to get information and he is not prepared to provide this information,” he said.

Discussions had been taking place with Vietnamese authorities about putting in place an interim agreement. However, these were put on hold by Mr Andrews pending the consideration of two UN reports by his department.

Concerns about adoption procedures in Vietnam, include the issue of informed consent of the parent of the child being adopted and whether money is changing hands in exchange for children.

Following this, a report from the Vietnamese Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs was prepared with the assistance of UNICEF, whose International Social Service (ISS) also prepared a report, which is before the minister.

The continuing impasse on the issue can only end when Ireland agrees a new bilateral agreement with Vietnam or when both countries sign up to the Hague Convention on intercountry adoptions.

However, as of yet, neither Ireland nor Vietnam have yet signed up to it.

Ireland will when the Adoption Bill is passed by the Dáil. This is expected to happen during this session. Vietnam has indicated it will sign up to the convention in 2010.


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