Vietnam: Update on Tu Du Hospital

8/19/08

The Department of State has released an update on Tu Du Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City relating to to the documentation of children born there. The full release follows:
Documentation related to intercountry adoption of children born at Tu Du Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City is unreliable, according to recent field investigations by U.S. officials. Specifically, U.S. officials conducting verification reviews see a pattern of false information in documentation pertaining to the birth mothers of children born at Tu Du Hospital. Field investigations indicate that one particular facility possesses the correct information. U.S. officials have been told that they do not have permission to review hospital records or interview hospital staff regarding any individual case; therefore verifying the orphan status of these children is extremely difficult. U.S. officials have also recently been informed that it is Tu Du Hospital’s policy to document all children as desertion cases regardless of the actual circumstances leading to their being made available for intercountry adoption.

In light of these discoveries, the Department of State and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recommend that U.S. adoption service providers refer children born at Tu Du Hospital only when the child is a special need child or when all parties can ensure that the information pertaining to the birth parent can be verified, where a birth parent can be identified and/or when a birth parent can be interviewed to confirm that the child qualifies as an orphan in accordance with U.S. law. State and USCIS will continue to process cases already filed for children born at Tu Du Hospital; however, prospective adoptive parents should be aware that the circumstances discussed above have resulted in significant delays in the verification process of their cases. State and USCIS understand the severe impact of these delays, and commit to working expeditiously on these complex cases. To the extent possible, State and USCIS will process cases on a first in, first out basis.

USCIS and the Department of State are committed to seeking an ethical and prioritized resolution to these cases. The U.S. Government continues to reach out to local authorities who oversee the hospital’s actions in order to achieve greater cooperation in conducting field verifications. Prospective adoptive parents may contact USCIS through HCMAdoptions@dhs.gov to address specific questions they may have regarding their case.

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