POSTED: 7:56 pm CDT May 7, 2008
UPDATED: 8:10 pm CDT May 7, 2008
OLATHE, Kan. — A disagreement between the United States and Vietnam could devastate a local couple’s adoption plan.
Heidi Fenton has a closet full of baby girl clothes.
She and her husband have been trying to adopt an infant from Vietnam.
However, Vietnam stopped taking adoption applications from Americans on Sept. 1 following a U.S. Embassy report of infants being sold and mothers being pressured to give up their babies.
The Fentons have been working with an adoption agency for 18 months and they have spent $10,000 on the adoption so far. Heidi Fenton estimates it will cost a total of $30,000.
“I wish the two governments could work it out so that those of us that have been in the process this long could get our babies,” she told KMBC’s Maria Antonia.
Figures indicate more Americans are trying to adopt babies from Vietnam because it has fewer restrictions than China.
According to one estimate, in 2007 the number of Vietnamese children adopted by American families increased 400 percent from the previous year.
Am I crazy or does “fewer restrictions”, the increase in adoptions from Vietnam and corruption not point to something more significant than simply a “disagreement between the United States and Vietnam?”
It’s getting to the point where I just don’t know what to say anymore. Not only does this article make it all about the adoptive parent, it reduces the situation down to a “disagreement between the United States and Vietnam.” I’m aware that there are people out there who don’t understand why I keep on the media about their narrow, biased articles on adoption.
For those of you who don’t or who would reduce it to just wanting to complain, I’ll tell you. The amount of naive assumptions and ignorant opinions I run into related to adoption is probably one of the biggest reasons.
Articles like these the need for alternative opinions from more critical members of the adoption community. I just love how it reduces things down to “a disagreement” between governments and makes it all about the adoptive parent.
I’ve heard other opinions that paint concerns over corruption in adoption as little more than a matter of politics. Others have told me that they don’t think a lot of things they read in the media translate into real life. I don’t fully disagree or agree with any of those statements. Truth, as I’ve come to discover, is usually “a little of column A, a little of column B,” as one of my friends would phrase it.
This whole thing with adoptions from Viet Nam has left me sickened and disgusted, so much so that I had to take several steps back in order to keep my perspective in check. Without the support and understanding of several of my adoptee friends, I would have thrown my hands up and walked away a long time ago.
When I first began blogging, I scoured the internet looking for the critical voices of fellow Vietnamese adoptees. I always came back empty-handed and disheartened. If not for a small number of adoptees, non-adoptee friends and even a few adoptive parents, I would have given myself up for being crazy.
Finally, after close to two years of blogging about adoption, a few distinctive voices began to emerge. For me, it was as if my work had finally come to fruition. I could relax, step back and watch as they ignited to shed more light on the Vietnamese adoptee perspective and experience. They’ve become rare gems in the sky, beacons of hope and support. I can’t imagine life without them.
That made it all the more infuriating when I read a four-part series featured on Nguoi Viet, a Vietnamese American newspaper, which was little more than a shopping brochure. Not only that, it was completely devoid of adult Vietamese adoptee voices and made only a cursory, dismissive mention of the corruption. Shame! Shame!
There will be more on this later, because there’s a story behind this that needs to be told. Given what’s occurred in Vietnamese adoptions over the last several months, it makes the publishing of this series significant for several reasons. But like I said, more to come at a later date…