27 June 2010 By Kieron Wood
Adoptions from Vietnam are set to restart from January next year, after Vietnam passed legislation to ensure that its laws comply with the Hague Convention on intercountry adoption.
Around 60 per cent of the 400 or so international adoptions in Ireland every year are from Vietnam.
However, the existing bilateral adoption agreement between Ireland and Vietnam lapsed on May 1, 2009, leaving many Irish couples unable to complete adoptions.
Sixty applications from people seeking to adopt Vietnamese children were subsequently withdrawn.
Some prospective adopters were said to have been six or seven years in the system.
A number of international reports have criticised adoption procedures in Vietnam, and Minister for Children Barry Andrews also expressed concern about the Vietnamese adoption process before the country passed its new law.
The ratification of the Hague Convention by Ireland and Vietnam means that both countries will have to adhere to certain standards.
Vietnam decided last week to pass legislation to ensure that its laws comply with the convention.
Ireland is due to ratify the convention when the new Adoption Bill comes into force in the autumn. The bill is to be considered by the Dáil this week.
A spokeswoman for Andrews said: ‘‘In the event that both Ireland and Vietnam ratify the convention, there is every reason to expect that adoptions from Vietnam could re-commence, subject to the provisions of the convention being met in this regard.”