The Vietnamese Ministry of Justice on September 16 officially handed over licences to two US adoption service providers –Dillon International and Holt International Children’s Services to facilitate inter-country adoptions following a six-year hiatus.

The event also marked the beginning of the US’s bid to start processing Hague Convention adoptions from Vietnam through its Special Adoption Programme.

Under the new agreement, Americans will be able to adopt children with special needs, those aged five and older and those in sibling groups.

Inter-country adoption between the US and Vietnam has been suspended since 2008 due to concerns over a lack of oversight.

Since that time, Vietnam has ratified the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation and revised its Law on Adoption in 2012.

In February 2013, a US congressional delegation came to Vietnam to discuss issues relating to child welfare and the resumption of a child adoption between the two countries.

At the time, Vietnam’s efforts to enhance its child welfare system and strengthen its commitment to reforming the child adoption scheme were hailed.

According to statistics from the Bureau of Consular Affairs on the US Department of State’s website, the number of US adoptions from Vietnam reached 1,739 between 2006 and 2008.

In 2013, 334 children from Vietnam were adopted abroad, including 200 with special needs.

Since the beginning of this year to July, procedures were handled for 274 adoptions from the country.

Statistics showed France has received the largest number of adoptions from Vietnam, followed by Italy, Canada and Spain.-VNA