Vietnamese officials sentenced to jail over fraudulent adoptions
Times, Wed, Sep 30, 2009
VIETNAMESE health officials and charity workers in the northern province
of Nam Dinh have been sentenced to jail for arranging over 300
six were jailed for two to four and a half years for “abuse of
power”, said Nguyen Tien Hung, vice-president of the Nam Dinh
the vast majority of adoptions from Vietnam are legitimate, there have
been question marks over some unscrupulous operators after the US
embassy in Hanoi last year accused the Vietnamese authorities of failing
to properly control the country’s adoption system, and said it had
found evidence of corruption, fraud and baby-selling.
those convicted from the fraud ring, which operated from 2005 to July
2008, were two heads of provincial welfare centres, doctors, nurses and
Dinh Ky, former head of a commune medical centre, received 28 million
dong (€1,078) for faking the documents of 14 newborn children. Local
media reported him telling the court “it was just to help the
babies”. He was sentenced to four and a half years in jail, while his
counterpart Tran Thi Luong in Y Yen District got three and a half years.
officials were found to have filed false papers to allow as many as 266
babies from poor families to be adopted, many by parents in France,
Italy and the US. Ten other people received suspended sentences of 15 to
the judges said the ring’s actions had defamed the central government
and adversely affected its humanitarian policy.
the US accusations, Vietnam subsequently suspended a bilateral adoption
agreement. An investigation by US authorities found that some agencies
in the US had paid €6,800 in “donations” per child to orphanages,
after officials had forged birth certificates and wrongly identified the
infants as abandoned.
over Vietnamese adoption monitoring led the Irish adoption authorities
not to renew a bilateral adoption agreement with Vietnam earlier this
year, and Minister for Children Barry Andrews said he wanted to wait for
a new Unicef report on the process before signing a new agreement.
Gael has asked the Government to introduce an interim adoption agreement
to allow couples already cleared for the process to adopt Vietnamese
Vietnamese government is drafting a new adoption law which would
delegate the ministry of justice as the only agency with the authority
to introduce children to adoptive parents and to issue official adoption
decisions, the Thanh Nien daily reported this week.
2009 The Irish Times
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