HA NOI — Viet Nam had been slow in dealing with overseas adoption cases for orphans and abandoned children with special needs, experts said at a workshop on a pilot programme to support overseas adoption for children with special needs yesterday.The workshop was organised by the Department of Adoption under the Ministry of Justice.
According to Nguyen Van Binh, director of the Department of Adoption, the department was trying its best to promote the adoption of these children, but there were "a whole lot of difficulties" due to cumbersome procedures and hesitation on the part of relevant units and the provinces or cities involved.
Binh specified four groups of children under the "children with special needs." The first are children with disabilities; the second are children with serious chronic health conditions, including HIV; the third are "older children" who typically not targeted by potential adoptive parents; and the fourth are biological siblings who need to stay together.
The department wants to prioritise adoptions of disabled children and those with serious chronic health conditions as adoptions of these children are not very common domestically or internationally.
In 2009 and 2010, only 151 of the 2,511 (six per cent) of children adopted by foreigners had special needs. By the end of last month, only 22 children with special needs were adopted by foreigners, according to the Department of Adoption.
"Parents often want to adopt young and healthy children," said Le Hong Loan, head of the Child Protection Section of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
Binh said that despite his relentless urging, the Department of Justice, which is in charge of approving adoptions, had failed to speed up procedures.
He said that the department had only taken a short step towards promoting adoptions for children with special needs.
"Long waits prolong the children's suffering," Binh added.
To help these children get better opportunities to be adopted, the Department of Adoption has started a pilot programme to promote special needs adoptions.
In 2011, the programme is being implemented primarily in four big cities and provinces, including Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau. These places already have a lot of experiences in dealing with overseas adoptions, according to the department.
The programme will help ease adoption procedures and take advantage of support from international adoption organisations in the search for suitable parents.
However this is not easy to do so as there are many challenges facing the department.
Among the many difficulties facing adoptions of children with special needs cited, the biggest is to provide sufficient, detailed and reliable information about the children's health conditions, said Nguyen Cong Khanh, deputy director of the Department of Adoption.
Khanh said that providing parents with a detailed health profile of a child was important as it would help them to fully understand the child's situation and determine whether they were capable of giving him or her proper health care.
Making a full legal profile for each child is another challenge.
A representative from the Linh Xuan Centre for Child Nurturing and Protection in HCM City said that in order to complete documents for an abandoned child, they had to search for the child's parents, a task that "costs money and takes time."
She added that some children were abandoned after their family failed to register their birth, which made it very difficult for the centre to develop a full profile. — VNS
fonte: Vietnam News del 20 maggio 2011