Baby girl may be stuck in Vietnam

Adoptions laws

Adoptions in Singapore are governed by the Adoption of Children Act. Among other things, the Act requires prospective adopters to sign a declaration that the child is not obtained illegally, said MCYS.

For adoption of foreign children, the child must enter Singapore legally.

Those found guilty of child trafficking may be sentenced to imprisonment not exceeding four years under the same Act.

Mr Lin, 49, said that he hit upon the idea of offering Vietnamese babies for adoption after Mr Yap asked him for help to adopt a baby there.

He said in Mandarin: "I realised that this could be a business opportunity because I am familiar with dealing with the people and authorities in Vietnam and the culture."

He charges about $16,000 per baby and has two other customers who are waiting to get their Home Study Report approved.

He'll ask his business associates in Vietnam to help look for a baby, either from those who are giving up their baby or from orphanages.

Nine years ago, Mr Lin was one of the first to matchmake local men with Vietnamese women here. But he has moved away from this line, blaming the intense cut-throat competition and declining matchmaking business here.

If he clears the legal hurdles for the adoption of Vietnamese babies, he may be the first here to offer such services.

Mr Lin said that he will consult his lawyer again on his options about his adoption services for Vietnamese babies.

If it's illegal, he'll stop offering the service. The number of adoptions here has dropped over the last three years.

Some 445 children were adopted in 2008, 419 in 2009 and 325 last year, said MCYS.

Over the last three years, an average of 52 per cent of children adopted in each year were foreign-born.

When contacted, five adoption agencies here said they don't handle babies from Vietnam.

Mr Peter Tan, who runs Happy Heart Child Adoption Agency, said most agencies here handle adoptions from Malaysia and Indonesia.

He said in Mandarin: "I don't know any agencies which handle adoptions from Vietnam.

"It's not easy to get approval from the Vietnamese government to release the babies. You need to have good contacts there."

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