Press Release

Minister Lenihan announces that an adoption agreement has now been reached between Ireland and Vietnam

Minister for Children, Mr Brian Lenihan T.D., announced today (31/03/04) that he was very pleased to be able to confirm that a decision to ratify a Vietnamese/Irish Adoption Agreement has now been approved by Government.

The Minister stated that”in accordance with its Articles, the Agreement will come into force 30 days after the date of receiving the last notification of the certification required in each of the two Contracting State. The Department of Foreign Affairs is arranging for immediate notification to the Vietnamese Authorities that these procedures in Ireland have now been completed.Accordingly, adoptions from Vietnam, which had been suspended by Vietnam in January 2003, pending the negotiation of a bilateral agreement, will recommence within the first week in May. Vietnam had suspended all adoptions to countries that did not have a bilateral agreement in place as from 1 January 2003.”

Minister Lenihan noted that “this Agreement was the result of a process which began, at my request, with Ireland´s Ambassador to Vietnam meeting the Vietnamese Authorities in December 2002 and reporting the willingness of the Vietnamese Authorities to enter into negotiations on a bilateral agreement on adoption with Ireland. An Irish delegation led by the ambassador then negotiated a bilateral agreement, in line with the principles of the Hague Convention allowing Irish couples to give a home to children who might otherwise have had to be institutionalised. The Agreement was signed in September, 2003 and was examined very closely to ensure that the State could meet its international obligations prior to Government approval being sought. Throughout the process, the Adoption Board has also been working with its counterparts in Vietnam to agree the practical arrangements and procedures and are in a position to deal with adoptions as soon as the agreement comes into force.”