U.S. Supports UNICEF Child Adoption Program in Vietnam

The following Press Release has been issued by the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam regarding U.S. government support of a UNICEF Child Adoption Program in Vietnam.  The press release can also be viewed on their website by clicking here.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is contributing to a new United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) program to help officials create regulations meeting international standards covering child adoption in Vietnam.

Developed in close cooperation with Vietnam’s Ministry of Justice and other relevant authorities, the “Strengthening Legislation and Monitoring Systems for Child Adoption” program will assist in improving the legal and regulatory framework to better protect children without parental care by developing and implementing national legislation and policies on domestic and inter-country adoption.

With $700,000 from the French National Committee for UNICEF and $300,000 from USAID, the program will extend through 2013 and will support Vietnam’s ratification of the Hague Convention on adoption. The program will develop a national monitoring system with adoption supervision, conduct a comprehensive assessment on the root causes of child abandonment and relinquishment, and build the capacity of policymakers, welfare, and enforcement personnel to better protect children.

The program will also help improve protection and care for children deprived of parental care through new policies, guidelines and standards on alternative care. It will pilot new alternative care models, including foster care, and inter-country adoption programmes for children with special needs.

Adoption is the one of the main forms of alternative care available for children in need of special protection in Vietnam, including orphaned, abandoned and relinquished children, children with disabilities, children affected by HIV and AIDS and other groups of vulnerable children.  While Vietnam has continually ranked among the most popular countries of origin for child adoption, the United States and Vietnam did not renew their bilateral adoption agreement in 2008 due to serious irregularities in the adoptions system. Since non-renewal of the agreement, Vietnam has worked closely with UNICEF to reform its adoption system, with a new Law on Adoption taking effect on January 1, 2011.

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