Saturday, April 26, 2008

AP Article on Babyselling in Vietnam for Adoptions

The other day, I came across an Associated Press article that discussed that in Vietnam, babies are being sold for international adoption. My heart sank as I read the article. I will include the link at the bottom of this entry.

Apparently, all the information for the article was gathered from an "unnamed source" in the U.S. Embassy visa department.

On further research regarding the claims and statements in the article, it turns out that every single case that was highlighted in the article has been resolved. It appears that the investigations into the alleged babyselling turned out to be unsubstantiated. Every single child received a visa in the end to join his/her adoptive families.

Subsequently, it makes me wonder what is on the agenda of the U.S. Embassy employee who works in the visa department to "leak" this article's information to the press?

Is that person acting alone, wanting to make a name for himself/herself for having stopped international adoptions in Vietnam?

Is this an undercurrent of an official wish by the U.S. government to shut down international adoptions world wide? This may be considered a "far reaching" kind of comment, but if you look at what is happening in other countries' U.S. Embassy adoption visa offices, i.e. Haiti, Liberia and Guatemala, then I think that this is not as much of a "far reaching" wondering.

U.S. families who are at the final stage of their adoption process, with a final foreign adoption, waiting for the visa process to be completed so that they can take their child home with them are wondering why their own government is working against them. I have heard this comment over and over again from families who are in the process of receiving their children's visas and are given a hard time obtaining visas.

If the U.S. is in favor of allowing their families to adopt internationally, then there needs to be a revision of the process. I hope that the ICARE legislation will be reintroduced to Congress and the Senate and that it needs to pass.

Please research it by going to EACH's website http://www.equalityforadoptedchildren.org/ and then click on the "legisltion" link. It would treat internationally adopted children as if they were biological children of the adoptive family. Upon completion of the adoption, the child would receive a "registry of U.S. birth overseas" (I think that is the name of the document) and a U.S. passport. No longer would families have to go through the immigrant visa process and wonder if their child will ever be able to join their families.

Also, U.S. families who are adopting, have adopted or are thinking about adopting internationally should become members of EACH (it is free). It is important that adoptive families have a united voice to fight for our adopted children's rights.

Don't misunderstand me, babyselling and buying is never acceptable. However, it seems to be the "boggy-man" in international adoptions. It was brought up again in the Vietnam article and the allegations were not true! It was brought up when I spoke with the head guy from UNICEF fo the Carribian region in December in regards to Haitian adoptions. I can tell you from personal experience in Haiti that people beg you to take their children so that the children have a possibility of a future and won't die in childhood.

Here is the link to the Vietnam article:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080425/ap_on_re_as/vietnam_adoptions

Update: The following comment was left in the comment section. Usually, I just leave comments in the comment section, but I would like to post this as an addition to my original post, including my response.

Anonymous said...
I also read a similar article and read that what sparked the investigation was a rise in abandoned children which lead authorities to wonder if all of these children were really abandoned or if something fishy was going on.

However, based on my understanding and what the article itself said, it harder to adopt a child into the US who is abandoned and who has no birth parents to state their intentions for placing this child for adoptions.

Am I correct in this and isn't this why some children from Haiti are not allowed to be adopted by US families, because of their orphan status? And if this is true, it doesn't seem very truthful to report this as a cause for concern because wouldn't that mean Americans would not be allowed to adopt the children mentioned in the article?
April 26, 2008 10:10 AM

My Response - achildsvoice@live.com said...

To Anonymously said: You make a jump in your reasoning... Yes, it is true that it is difficult to get a visa for an abandoned child because the U.S. Embassy requires concrete proof that a child was truly abandoned. How do you do that?

A child is left somewhere and found. This happens a lot in Haiti. Babies and kids are literally thrown away. The person who found the child can make a sworn statement that he found the child and the circumstances of finding the child.

However, to the U.S. Embassy, that is not necessarily sufficient proof because that person could be lying (or so they reason).

The same thing happens when a child is a true orphan where both parents are dead. Often in poor countries people die and there is no such thing as family members or friends obtaining death certificates.

If the family or community does not have the money for food, why would they spend money on obtaining a death certificate? In Liberia, parents died and were buried in the bush. Now, those children are true orphans who should be able to be adopted.

However, again here is the problem of providing proof that satisfies the U.S. Embassy that the child is a true orphan and the parents are dead. Thus, orphanages and organizations who process adoptions would rather not take the chance in adopting a really abandoned (and found) child and/or a true orphan, even though these are the children that should be adopted.

So, it is not a case of not being able to adopt a child as you mention in your comment.

Americans ARE ALLOWED to adopt abandoned or fully orphaned children but because it is so difficult to satisfy the proof element for the U.S. Embassy, those children end up not being adopted.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I also read a similar article and read that what sparked the investigation was a rise in abandoned children which lead authorities to wonder if all of these children were really abandoned or if something fishy was going on. However, based on my understanding and what the article itself said, it harder to adopt a child into the US who is abandoned and who has no birth parents to state their intentions for placing this child for adoptions. Am I correct in this and isn't this why some children from Haiti are not allowed to be adopted by US families, because of their orphan status? And if this is true, it doesn't seem very truthful to report this as a cause for concern because wouldn't that mean Americans would not be allowed to adopt the children mentioned in the article?

achildsvoice@live.com said...

To Comment #1 - Anonymously said:

You make a jump in your reasoning... Yes, it is true that it is difficult to get a visa for an abandoned child because the U.S. Embassy requires concrete proof that a child was truly abandoned. How do you do that? A child is left somewhere and found. This happens a lot in Haiti. Babies and kids are literally thrown away.

The person who found the child can make a sworn statement that he found the child and the circumstances of finding the child. However, to the U.S. Embassy, that is not necessarily sufficient proof because that person could be lying (or so they reason).

The same thing happens when a child is a true orphan where both parents are dead. Often in poor countries people die and there is no such thing as family members or friends obtaining death certificates. If the family or community does not have the money for food, why would they spend money on obtaining a death certificate? In Liberia, parents died and were buried in the bush. Now, those children are true orphans who should be able to be adopted.

However, again here is the problem of providing proof that satisfies the U.S. Embassy that the child is a true orphan and the parents are dead.

Thus, orphanages and organizations who process adoptions would rather not take the chance in adopting a really abandoned (and found) child and/or a true orphan, even though these are the children that should be adopted. So, it is not a case of not being able to adopt a child as you mention in your comment.

Americans ARE ALLOWED to adopt abandoned or fully orphaned children but because it is so difficult to satisfy the proof element for the U.S. Embassy, those children end up not being adopted.

acceptancewithjoy said...

I am oh so tired of shoddy, un-critical and biased reporting forming the opinion of so many Americans.

Our Family Adventure said...

All of China's adoptable children (international) are abandoned. Yet the program moves with ease (except for the slowdown due to less children in the orphanages). No problems with getting a visa in China to bring your child home. So what is the difference? I just don't get it.

About 2 years ago, there were proven cases of baby selling to certain orphanages in China. Those responsable have been incarcerated. Yet visa's are still being given on a regular basis and have been before, during and after this happened. Just doesn't make sense how the US operates so differently there.

Sylvie la Grande Bretonne said...

hi there !
could you give us more info on how you researched the whole thing, and found that the cases investigated were resolved ? I'm in France, waiting for a VN child, and very worried about all these allegations.
I would love to be able to reassure friends and family (and myself first of all !!) and also fellow adopters that things are not THAT bad over there...
Thanks for all your work and for your blog !
Sylvie, from France