La Trobe Law School Student Presents at the International Conference on Adoption Research

La Trobe Law School PhD student, Ms Thuy Thi Thu Trieu, presented a paper titled ‘Openness in Inter-country Adoption and the Right to Identity of the Child’ at the 5th International Conference on Adoption Research at the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand from 7 to 11 January 2016.


The concept of openness in adoption derives from the right to know one’s origins which is provided in Article 7 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Although there are a number of countries that either permit or require openness in domestic adoption, the concept remains a controversial matter. Some scholars believe that openness in adoption confers significant advantages for the full development as well as identity formation of adopted children. Information about family background and biological origin can be the key elements to the construction of identity throughout childhood and into adulthood. However, other scholars indicate that open adoption will interfere with the privacy of birth parents.

My paper will explore the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption with a focus on the position of the law in relation to the identity of adoptees and how, and to what extent the concept of openness in adoption relates to adoptees’ identity formation.


Ms Trieu Thi Thu Thuy, is a PhD student at La Trobe Law School. Before coming to La Trobe University, she completed a Master of Laws at Victoria University in 2007. She has worked as a Senior Legal Expert and Deputy Head in charge of Policy Division at the Department of Adoption, Ministry of Justice of Vietnam from October 2010 until November 2013. While working in this position, she was in charge of policy matters which included researching the Vietnamese legal system on adoption; drafting legislation on adoption; providing training courses for local staff; exchanging information on laws and  liaising with foreign authorities on adoption matters; policy-making on adoption, regarding cases of both domestic and inter-country adoption and proposing measures for improvement and administrative reform of Vietnam’s legislation on these matters. She is a member of Vietnam’s delegation to negotiate bilateral agreements on adoption between Vietnam and Italy, Sweden, Denmark and participated in the first negotiation round with the United States of America. She also participated in making proposals on the possibility for accession to the Hague Convention N0 33 29th May 1993 on protection of children and cooperation in respect of intercountry adoption, the project proposal on implementation of the Convention to the Prime Minister as well as the proposal of Law on Adoption 2010 of Vietnam.

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