Americans will once again be allowed to adopt Vietnamese children, six years after Hanoi and Washington failed to extend a bilateral pact because of disagreements over fraud and corruption.
Two U.S. adoption service providers have been granted licenses to facilitate a limited adoption program for children with special needs, children aged five and older, and children in biological sibling groups.
Nguyen Van Binh, Vietnam's Director of the Department of Adoptions, tells VOA’s Vietnamese Service the organizations were selected from over 200 eligible American agencies.
“Vietnam and the U.S. both are signatories of Hague Adoption Convention, so it is normal that we cooperate with each other," he said. "The two [American groups] are among over 30 adoption organizations from over 10 countries operating in Vietnam. They met all the requirements and went through the selection process.”
Inter-country adoption between the United States and Vietnam was suspended in 2008 after an investigation into Vietnam’s adoption system uncovered various violations, including baby selling and fraud.
Three years later, the Southeast Asian country ratified the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation and revised its law on adoption.
Nguyen said challenges arise not only in Vietnam but also in other countries, and “it is normal to correct mistakes.”
In an online message, Dillon International, one of the selected agencies, said it is "thrilled" to serve Vietnamese children who are in need of "permanent, loving families."
According to the government in Hanoi, nearly 1,300 Vietnamese children were adopted by foreign parents, mostly from Europe, from 2011 to 2013.
The resumption in adoptions was announced as Vietnam and the U.S. have sought to strengthen bilateral ties in the areas of trade and military cooperation.
This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Vietnamese service. Some information for this report comes from AFP.