French rocker Hallyday in Vietnam to adopt baby

24th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

HANOI, Nov 24 (AFP) - Johnny Hallyday and his wife Laetitia are in Vietnam hoping to adopt a baby but the process has run into administrative delays, a close friend accompanying the ageing French rocker said Wednesday.

HANOI, Nov 24 (AFP) - Johnny Hallyday and his wife Laetitia are in Vietnam hoping to adopt a baby but the process has run into administrative delays, a close friend accompanying the ageing French rocker said Wednesday.

The couple arrived in Hanoi on Friday with the hope of returning to France this week with Jade, a three-month-old girl from Phu Tho province, 70 kilometres (43 miles) north east of the capital.

"We expected to be given the baby this Friday, but we still have things to do with the authorities," Patrick Roussel, a friend of the singer, told AFP.

He said that the baby was still in her native province, one of the poorest in the communist nation. He refused to say if the child was an orphan.

"I hope that they can receive the child during this trip but I think things will be delayed," Roussel said. "We will have to come back here if necessary."

The French embassy in Vietnam refused to comment, saying it was a "private issue".

The 61-year-old Hallyday, who enjoys huge popularity back home, is widely credited with bringing rock 'n' roll to France.

French nationals accounted for nearly half of all Vietnamese adopted by foreigners during the 1990s.

However, Paris banned the adoption of Vietnamese children in April 1999 after it was revealed that some "orphans" had living parents who were duped into thinking their offspring would return home after a short holiday.

Other childless couples found themselves being asked fees of up to USD 10,000 from intermediaries who engaged in an underground trade in babies from the impoverished Mekong Delta.

The process began again at the beginning of 2001 after a bilateral agreement between France and Vietnam regulating adoption came into force.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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