Today, September 1, 2008, the current Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the United States and Vietnam expires. As a result, intercountry adoption is effectively suspended until a new MOA is signed and implemented by both countries. Joint Council sees the suspension of intercountry adoption as a tragedy for children and for the families willing to provide a loving family to Vietnamese orphans.
Joint Council and its Member Organizations remain committed to the children and families of Vietnam and continue to work closely with both governments. Completing existing adoption cases and putting a new MOA in place remain the top priorities.
Joint Council remains confident that a new MOA is achievable especially in light of recent events. Joint Council’s A Child’s Right Campaign, the subsequent letter from Members of the U.S. Congress to the Department of State, arrests of corrupt practitioners in Vietnam, a discussion of the Hague Convention by Vietnam’s National Assembly, a joint statement by President Bush and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, the U.S. Department of State’s official request for a lead Vietnamese negotiator and other recent events, all demonstrate that both parties take this seriously and are interested in resolving this crisis.
While some confusion remains regarding the processing of existing adoption cases, it is Joint Council’s understanding that if a child has been referred to a family and that referral has been approved by the Vietnam Department of Intercountry Adoption (DIA), the adoption can proceed to completion. It is important that Adoption Service Providers and potential adoptive parents recognize that a referral may not continue on to completion unless the referral has been approved by the DIA. Families should consult with their Adoption Service Provider in making this determination.
We continue to seek clarity on all aspects of the adoption process in Vietnam and have suggested that the DIA refrain from returning family dossiers to their respective adoption service provider at this time. Unfortunately many questions remain such as when a new MOA is in place, will existing dossiers be considered valid. When this and other determinations are made, we will notify you promptly.