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Foreign Adoptions Part 2: Intercountry Adoptions to Resume Between United States and Vietnam

Posted on in Adoption

foreign adoptions, vietnam adoptions, Kane County family law attorney, Illinois adoption attorney, The United States and Vietnam recently announced that limited intercountry adoptions will resume after a six-year ban. Prior to the ban, Vietnam was a popular destination for American families looking to adopt. However, allegations surfaced regarding the corrupt underpinnings of Vietnam’s adoption system, including evidence of baby-selling. The Vietnamese government responded to the ban by establishing legal safeguards for intercountry adoptions. The new partnership between the U.S. and Vietnam now allows Americans to adopt Vietnamese special needs children and children older than five.

International Law Regarding Intercountry Adoptions

The legal framework that Vietnam put in place is based on the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, which has three stated goals:

  1. To establish safeguards to ensure that intercountry adoptions only take place if they are in the best interests of the child, and that the adoption respects the child’s fundamental rights;
  2.  To establish a system of cooperation among contracting states to ensure that those safeguards are respected and thereby prevent the abduction, sale of or traffic in children; and
  3. To ensure that contracting states recognize adoptions made in accordance with the Convention.

In other words, the goal of the Convention is to ensure that intercountry adoptions are safe for the children involved. The Convention only permits adoptions when “competent authorities” in the state of origin (the country that the child is being adopted from):

  • Establish that the child is adoptable;
  • Determine that an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests, after considering possible placements within the state of origin;
  • Ensure that the parties who must consent to the adoption are duly informed of the effects of their consent, including whether the adoption will terminate the legal relationship between the child and his or her family of origin;
  • Ensure that the parties who must consent to the adoption have given the voluntary, written consent;
  • Ensure that the parties’ consent has not been induced by payment or compensation of any kind, and that the consent has not been withdrawn;
  • Ensure that the mother’s consent (where required) is only given after the birth of the child;
  • Ensure that the child (depending on the age and maturity level) is duly informed of the effects of the adoption and of his or her consent to adoption (where the child’s consent is required);
  • Ensure that adoption authorities have considered the child’s wishes, again depending on age and maturity level; and
  • If the adoption requires the child’s consent, ensure that the consent is voluntary and expressed in writing, and that it has not been induced by payment of compensation of any kind.

The receiving state (the country that the child is being adopted into) must also meet certain requirements. “Competent authorities” must:

  • Determine that the prospective adoptive parents are eligible and suited to adopt;
  • Ensure that the prospective adoptive parents are counseled as necessary; and
  • Determine that the child is or will be authorized to enter and reside permanently in that state.

Adopting in Illinois

The adoption process can be lengthy and complicated, especially if you are adopting from overseas. If your family is considering an international – or domestic adoption – contact one of our experienced St.Charles adoption attorneys today.

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