chiefs to go to Vietnam over fears
Conall Ó Fátharta, Irish Examiner Wednesday,
April 13, 2011
from the Adoption Authority are to travel to Vietnam to examine if the
"profound concerns" raised in a number of international reports
about adoption practices in the country have been addressed.
after a meeting with Adoption Authority chairman Geoffrey Shannon and chief
executive Elizabeth Canavan, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances
Fitzgerald said she had asked officials from the authority to travel to the
south east Asian country ahead of the country ratifying the Hague Convention
However, Ms Fitzgerald said it was important not to "raise expectations
unduly" about when an administrative agreement could be arranged with
"I am pleased that Vietnam has signed the Hague Convention, but
recognise the significant body of work that still needs to be done to
protect children and fully ratify the convention. We don’t want to raise
expectations unduly, but it is very important to clarify what the situation
is in Vietnam and bring as much clarity as we can to it in view of the fact
they are ratifying Hague," she said.
Mr Shannon Mr Shannon said he was committed to ensuring that all concerns
raised about adoption practices in Vietnam had been addressed fully.
"Nobody has a right to adopt. The Hague Convention provides a framework
in which to regulate intercountry adoption not just to facilitate
intercountry adoption. It’s hugely important that consent is freely given
and that adoption is in the best interests of children," he said.
The minister confirmed her commitment to introducing tracing and information
legislation for adopted people and natural parents, but said she was not in
a position to offer a timescale.
"I would like to see tracing and information legislation. I believe
that we are behind some other countries, and in terms of the exact form that
that would take I am open to discussions on. I think there are people that
have been very emotionally scarred by a lack of information but, equally,
there are issues about respect for birth parents, but it is an area there
should be legislation in," she said.
Mr Shannon also said it was important that an information and tracing
service for children adopted from abroad be made available for those
children when they turn 18 years old.
"We are now looking at legacy issues from the 1950s and 1960s. Will we
be looking at these issues in 20 years time. I hope we won’t and that we
will ensure that all children adopted from abroad will have a full file
available to them to identify their origins," he said.
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