Been a bit busy lately, but will hopefully be back to regular blogging soon. In the meantime, Ethica has issued a statement on the recent DOS advisory…
The U.S. Department of State(DOS) has issued the following statement about adoptions from Vietnam.
At meetings with adoption service providers attended by Ethica personnel, DOS has noted that approximately 2000 people have indicated to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that they intend to adopt from Vietnam. Many agencies have stopped adding people to their waiting lists, but the lists are long—with many agencies reporting waits of 12-15 months to 2 years for a referral. In light of the long wait times, and the significant number of people in process, the Department felt it was wise to inform people who have not already begun an adoption from Vietnam that it was possible that a new Memorandum of Understanding(MOU) will not be concluded by the Sept. 1 deadline and that when a new MOU is concluded, it might be different from the one currently in place.
Ethica commends the Department for its openness about the process and the possibility of delays. We urge families who have not yet begun the process to seriously consider options in other countries. Parents who have been awaiting referrals will each have to weigh the risks of accepting a referral in the months to come. No one can really make that decision for you—all anyone can do is provide the currently available information. The U.S. does not require an MOU; the Vietnamese government does. Thus, while the U.S. will certainly continue its processing past Sept. 1, 2008, it is impossible to predict what the Vietnamese government will do with cases in process when the MOU expires. Because it is impossible to predict, it is the responsible thing to do for the Department to make families aware of the possibility that cases not completed by September 1, 2008 could face significant delays. Families should be aware that no agency can promise you that you will receive a referral after September 1 (as some families have reported), or that a case in process is guaranteed to be completed.
Ethica urges agencies to support the DOS efforts toward improving and continuing adoptions from Vietnam during their interactions with Vietnamese officials. Presenting a united front on issues of ethics and transparency will assist the Department in reaching an agreement with Vietnam more quickly.
Additional information on this situation can be found here:
We will continue to keep everyone informed as things develop in the coming months.
Linh Song, MSW