CAROL COULTER, Legal Affairs Editor
The Irish Times – Friday, November 11, 2011
VIETNAM HAS ratified the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, allowing Irish couples to adopt children from the country once more. The ratification will come into force on February 1st.
Until 2009, adoptions into Ireland from Vietnam took place under a bilateral agreement between the two countries.
Following controversy concerning adoptions out of Vietnam, the agreement lapsed in May 2009, when adoptions were suspended. Meanwhile, Ireland passed the Adoption Act ratifying the Hague Convention which sets standards for intercountry adoption.
This meant that only children from other Hague convention countries, or those with which there was a bilateral agreement, could be adopted into Ireland.
Following the concerns about its adoptions process, Vietnam undertook to introduce changes to its procedures to enable it to ratify the convention. Contacts continued between the Irish and Vietnamese governments, stressing the desire of the Irish Government to see the situation resolved and adoptions resumed.
Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald has welcomed Vietnam’s decision to ratify the convention.
“Last month I met the Vietnamese ambassador to Ireland, Mr Vu Quang Minh,” Ms Fitzgerald said, “and I impressed upon the ambassador Ireland’s wish to continue to see Vietnam as a country of choice for adoption for prospective Irish adoptive parents.
“The Vietnamese authorities have worked assiduously over recent months in preparing to ratify the Hague Convention and to develop an adoption process that supports safe and secure domestic and inter-country adoptions.
“The necessary diplomatic engagements will continue between Ireland and Vietnam to ensure these final steps are now taken and I have already arranged to again meet the Vietnamese ambassador to Ireland before the end of the month,” she added.