Press Release

Minister Lenihan reports progress on negotiations to secure a bilateral adoption agreement with Vietnam

Minister for Children Mr Brian Lenihan TD is pleased to note that good progress is being made in negotiations on a bilateral adoption agreement between Ireland and Vietnam.

A number of discussions took place last week in Hanoi 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 their visit.

“I am very concerned about the distress and difficulties that the closure of Vietnam as an adoption outlet is causing Irish applicants. However, I am very pleased to note the willingness of the Vietnamese side to enter into an agreement that will enable many Irish couples to give good homes to Vietnamese children.”

Over 79 children have been adopted from Vietnam to date and it is a very popular country of choice for Irish applicants.

Vietnam suspended all adoptions to countries that did not have a bilateral agreement in place from 1 January 2003. At the MinisterĀ“s request IrelandĀ“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 took place in Hanoi last week.

“I am pleased to hear that the negotiations were very fruitful and that a common understanding was reached by both sides on all issues. A very important stage in the negotiations on securing an international agreement on adoption with Vietnam has now been completed.”

“There are a number of internal procedures that have to be followed by both the Vietnamese and the Irish Authorities before our countries can ratify the agreement. I am confident from the goodwill shown by both sides to date that arrangements can be concluded over the coming months to ratify the agreement and facilitate adoptions from Vietnam.”

“I intend monitoring progress on developments with a view to bringing proposals to Government at an early date to ratify the agreement and I would like to express my gratitude to Ambassador Mulhall and the Irish delegation for their contributions at the negotiations.”