Delay in renewing adoption agreement with vietnam must be explained

Labour Party Spokesperson on Children Senator Alex White has criticised the failure of the government to expedite a new adoption agreement with the Vietnamese government.

“The Bi-Lateral Intercountry Adoption Agreement between Ireland and Vietnam expired on May 1st. The ending of this agreement has been looming for months now but despite assurances made by Minister Barry Andrews, the government has failed to effect a renewal of this agreement with the Vietnamese.

“When I raised this urgent issue with Barry Andrews in the Senate some weeks ago I was informed that a new agreement was being sought by officials in his office, who had exchanged various documents with their Vietnamese counterparts.

“Now that the old Agreement has expired there is no legal framework under which Irish couples can adopt a child from Vietnam. This will add to the already considerable anxiety, grief and upset caused to these families by the extraordinary delays in this whole procedure” according to Senator White.

“Given that Russia is also effectively closed to Irish adoptions because of what seems to be a wholesale breakdown in the procedures agreed between the HSE and the Russian authorities, there is now a serious crisis in intercountry adoptions here. This needs to be addressed by immediate action by the government, and I call on Minister Andrews to clarify forthwith precisely what he intends to do with regard to this unacceptable impasse”.