“IFSW welcomes the decision of the Vietnamese Department of International Adoptions (DIA) to suspend the acceptance of new adoption dossiers with the United States following discovery of widespread corruption in adoption practices”, said David N Jones, IFSW President (see below). “IFSW recognizes that there are many different views about the value and ethics of international adoption. Whatever position is taken, the first concern must always be for the rights and interests of the child”, he stated. “Our hearts also go out to the many prospective adopters whose hopes have been cruelly shattered.”
Social workers know from bitter experience that adoption processes can easily be corrupted and can harm the rights and feelings of all involved — child, birth parents and adoptive parents. Social workers also understand very well the strong feelings of prospective adopters and their wish to provide care for a child. Social workers play a key role in supporting good adoptions and making sure that all the parties are treated fairly and legally.
“Adoption laws and procedures are often criticized by people who want easier adoption and less bureaucracy”, David N Jones continued. “The evidence from the Vietnamese experience shows why these laws and procedures are so important. Above all, the rights of the children to family life, fair treatment and protection from abuse must come first. All those involved must be fairly treated. Social workers are committed to upholding these principles at all costs,” David N Jones concluded.
Note to editors
U.S. field investigations continue to reveal incidents of serious adoption irregularities, including forged or altered documentation, cash payment to birth mothers (for other than reasonable payments for necessary activities such as administrative, court, legal, translation, and/or medical services related to the adoption), coercion or deceit to induce the birth parent(s) to release children to an orphanage, and children being offered for inter-country adoption without the knowledge or consent of their birth parents.
International adoption is regulated by The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption and national laws.