I received the following email Wed. afternoon from Nancy Boyda, one of the members of Congress I contacted regarding A Child’s Right Campaign for Vietnam. I'm sure some of you got something similar, but I thought I'd share it for those who aren't directly involved in all of this and still don't fully understand what's going on.
Thank you for taking the time to contact my office about the situation of adoption in Vietnam. I believe that all children have the right to live with a family that loves and supports them, and I am taking action to make sure that we can make this a reality.
Because of the implementation of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, we are beginning to see changes around the world in international adoption policies. Currently, the Vietnamese government and some adoption agencies within Vietnam are not on track to comply with the Hague standards. As I am sure you are aware, Secretary Condoleezza Rice has justified her reluctance to extend a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the government of Vietnam about adoption because of their inability to create a Hague-Compliant system.
Secretary Rice's refusal to sign an extension of our current MOU with Vietnam, which is set to expire on September 1, 2008, would create serious problems for those trying to adopt children from Vietnam. Contrary to Secretary Rice's belief, there are countless legitimate and ethical adoption agencies within Vietnam and if she does not renew our current MOU with Vietnam, many Vietnamese children will not be able to join loving families in the U.S. Further, I have heard heartbreaking stories from Kansans who want to adopt and provide children with a loving home, but are being prevented from moving forward - this is both a financial and emotional burden for them.
As a member of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, I am committed to working towards a solution. I have joined with my colleagues in sending a letter to Secretary Rice urging her to support an extension of our MOU with Vietnam. I believe that intercountry adoptions must meet the highest standards, like those put forth by the Hague Convention. We must also find a temporary compromise that honors the original intent of the Hague standards - to make sure that all children can grow up in a loving environment.
I've enclosed below the text of the letter that will be sent to Secretary Rice and I am hopeful that she will move forward on this path. If you are experiencing problems with the adoption process, you can contact my office in Topeka (785.234.8111) to receive assistance.
Thank you again for taking the time to make your voice heard about this important issue. Please do not hesitate to keep in contact with me about this or any other issue.
Member of Congress
The letter she's referring to, that's being sent to Sec. Rice, can be seen here, complete with all the signatures. It's on the JCICS website. Check to see if your Senators and Congressmen (women, persons, whatever) signed it. I was happy to see the signatures of each of the people I contacted (yeah, like it was my personal influence alone that did it). Please pray this letter has a positive impact and brings about a miracle. There's still time to turn things around!! Keep hoping!