U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu says Vietnam adoptions could resume "in the near future," according to a Feb. 24 news story. This news comes five years after international adoptions from Vietnam were halted due to concerns over illicit activities, including baby selling and fraud.
Landrieu told the Associated Press that the two governments were continuing work that will hopefully lead to a re-opening of the Vietnam adoption program, which has historically garnered much interest from families in the United States. In 2008, 748 children joined their U.S. families through Vietnam adoption, according to the U.S. Department of State. Those numbers dropped to zero by 2011, when all Vietnam adoptions that were in progress at the time of the shutdown had finally made it through the system.
Many hopeful adoptive families were left searching for new alternatives after the Vietnam adoption program closed in mid-2008. Not all families gave up hope; some still pine to adopt a child from Vietnam, a country whose rich heritage and culture they grew to love during their adoption explorations. While the news from Landrieu brings hope to those families -- and to new families just beginning their international adoption journey -- experts urge prospective adoptive parents to wait for an official agreement before setting their sights on the Vietnam adoption program. Additionally, families should exercise extreme caution with any adoption agency that might advertise for a Vietnam adoption program before an official agreement exists.