On Friday, July 26, 2008, Joint Council participated in a briefing of over 60 Congressional offices on issues related to international children’s services with particular attention to intercountry adoption in Vietnam and Guatemala.
The panel presented varying perspectives on the issues facing intercountry adoption in Vietnam and Guatemala. Regarding Vietnam the issue of a new Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), the impact of a potential moratorium, concerns over corruptive practices and the current referral process including those children and families who may not be referred were addressed in detail.
The panel also provided information to the Congressional offices on ways in which Congress can support international children’s services, maintain the viability of intercountry adoption as an important element in providing children with permanent families and advocating for their constituents seeking to adopt a child in need of a family.
Among a variety of suggestions, the panel asked the Congressional offices to advocate via individual letters, with the government of Vietnam to finalize a new MOA by September 1, 2008.
In addition to our continued advocacy with the Vietnamese and United States governments for a new MOA, Joint Council continues to express our concern regarding Vietnam’s capacity to refer approximately 800 children in July and August 2008. Given our advocacy for an MOA which continues to provide services to families and children, increases child protections and elevates the standards of practice by all parties, Joint Council calls on the DIA, adoption service providers and potential adoptive parents to ensure that all children referred prior to September 1, 2008 will be completed with no undue pressure and in an ethical manner consistent with the best interest of each and every child.