criticising Vietnamese adoptions to be published
Conall O Fátharta
Examiner, Saturday, October 03, 2009
MAJOR UNICEF report, believed to be behind the Government’s failure to
renew a bilateral agreement with Vietnam on adoption, is to be made
public later this month.
International Social Service (ISS) draft report is believed to be
critical of adoption procedures in the country.
Some of the criticisms include the fact that intercountry adoptions from
Vietnam are demand-driven, meaning the availability of children who are
adoptable relates more to the number of foreign adopters than to the
actual needs of abandoned or orphaned children.
Talks had been taking place with the Vietnamese government about an
interim agreement. However, these were put on hold by Minister for
Children Barry Andrews pending his consideration of the ISS report.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Prime Time programme, Mr Andrews said he was
hopeful the report would be made public later this month.
Mr Andrews said that the report, along with a second report by the
Vietnamese Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (Molisa),
had to be fully considered before progress could be made.
"Both of them are the latest knowledge. They are authoritative.
They’re from child protection international experts and so we have to
consider the contents of those reports in determining how we progress
this issue," he said.
Mr Andrews said some of the content in the ISS report was "quite
hard-hitting" and confirmed there were currently no direct
discussions between the two countries on a new bilateral agreement.
Fine Gael spokesperson on children Alan Shatter called on Mr Andrews to
re-open discussions with Vietnam in an effort to renew the bilateral
"There is not an awful lot in the reports that I have seen, the
UNICEF and Molisa reports, that is all that new and I do believe that
any issues that the minister has concerns about could have been
addressed in a new bilateral agreement.
"What we actually do need is the discussions with the Vietnamese
authorities, which have come to a halt and which he has chosen to stop,
to be re-opened and re-started," he said.
Shane Clarke of Vietnamese Irish Network of Adoptive Parents criticised
the lack of information made available to those currently waiting to
adopt from Vietnam.
"We meet on a regular basis with you [Minister Andrews] and whether
its because of confidentiality or whatever else, support groups are told
‘No, we have nothing to report, there is nothing happening’,"
here to return to the news page