Press Release

Minister Lenihan announces a bilateral adoption agreement between Ireland and Vietnam

Minister for Children, Mr Brian Lenihan T.D., is pleased to be able to announce that the government has now agreed to the signing of a bilateral adoption agreement between Ireland and the Social Republic of Vietnam.

Vietnam has become a very popular country of choice for Irish Couples wishing to adopt. Up to 1999 only 2 children were adopted from Vietnam to Ireland but by the end of 2002 this figure had increased to 104 children.

Vietnam suspended all adoptions to countries that did not have a bilateral agreement in place as from 1 January 2003. At the Minister’s request Ireland’s Ambassador to Vietnam, met with the Vietnamese Authorities in December 2002 and reported the willingness of the Vietnamese to enter into negotiations on a bilateral agreement on adoption with Ireland.

A number of negotiations then took place in Hanoi in March and April of this year between an Irish delegation led by Ireland´s Ambassador to Malaysia and Vietnam, Mr Dan Mulhall and senior officials from the Vietnamese Ministry for Justice led by Mr Nguyen Van Binh, Director. The Vietnamese Minister for Justice Dr Uong Chu Luu also met with the Irish delegation, which included officials from the Department of Health and Children and the Adoption Board, during this visit.

The Minister said “I am pleased to be able to announce that a common understanding has now been achieved by both sides on all issues and that agreement has been reached between our two countries. This agreement is in line with the principles of the Hague Convention and allows Irish couples to give a home to children who might otherwise have had to be institutionalised.”