Tulsa Adoption Agency Hopes To Be Chosen For Vietnam Program
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa-based adoption agency Dillon International is hoping to get back to finding families for children from Vietnam.
The United States suspended adoptions from that country in 2008, but now two U.S. adoption agencies will be allowed to adopt from Vietnam.
Olivia Alls, 12, was born in Vietnam but raised in Little Rock, Arkansas.
She was adopted as a one-year-old by Kimberly Alls.
"Most of the time people ask, 'Is that your real mom?'" Olivia said. "And most of the time it's just, 'Yep. Who else would she be?' Or, 'She's not made out of rubber.'"
Dillon International has facilitated more than 100 adoptions from Vietnam since 2000, Olivia was the first.
She and her mom recently made a trip back to her home country to learn more about her heritage.
"It was interesting because we went to the orphanages and it was just weird thinking that I could still be there instead of here," she said.
The United States suspended adoptions out of Vietnam in 2008 following an investigation into adoption practices in that country.
The U.S. Department of State says the Vietnamese have since restructured their program and have agreed to license two U.S. adoption agencies.
A delegation from Vietnam is visiting the U.S. to meet potential agencies.
"It's just a real privilege to have these delegates here in Tulsa in our backyard to experience some of the wonderful things that Tulsa and Oklahoma have to offer," Dillon International Executive Director Kyle Tresch said.
Olivia's mom calls her the light of her life.
She says it's a challenge to adopt a child from another country but well worth it.
"It's just a joy that any child brings to a family... the miracles, the small steps, the difficulties. It's just a path that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world," Kimberly said.
The cost of an international adoption varies, depending on the country, but you can expect to pay between $20,000-$30,000.