Christopher R, Hill, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Statement before the Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
March 12, 2008
Another challenge to our bilateral relationship is inter-country adoptions. Hundreds of caring Americans parents have adopted children from Vietnam since the United States and Vietnam resumed processing inter-country adoptions in 2006. This renewed interest has put great pressure on a Vietnamese social and governmental infrastructure that, in our evaluation, simply has been unable to respond adequately. We have observed a disturbing trend of fraud and illegal activity in recent months that threatens the integrity of the program by denying birth parents their rights and placing the lives of infants at risk. Our goal is to work closely with the Vietnamese government and other interested parties to reform the international adoption process in Vietnam while facilitating cases that meet the requirements of Vietnamese and U.S. law and regulations.
We have raised these concerns at high levels with Vietnam and urged their government to accede to the Hague Convention on Adoptions. We have offered technical assistance to develop the institutions that would enable them to become compliant with safeguards in the Hague Convention. Our goal is to work with Vietnam to fix the system, so that we can process adoptions from Vietnam while ensuring the protection of the children, the birth parents, and the adoptive parents.