Susan Jacobs, the special US advisor on children's issues, will head on Wednesday to the Southeast Asian countries for talks with officials and other stakeholders on adoption, the department said.

The United States suspended adoptions from Cambodia in 2001 and from Vietnam in 2008. In Vietnam, a US probe found that some adoption rackets were paying $10,000 "donations" to orphanages to claim falsely that infants were abandoned.

The State Department, in a statement, said it "welcomes Vietnam's strong efforts to create a child welfare system and an inter-country adoption process that will meet its obligations" under the Hague treaty on adoptions.

The United States is the world's largest source of adoptive parents. Other countries have also been moving to restart adoptions in Southeast Asia, with Cambodia drafting regulations for children to be adopted by French parents.

Agence France Presse - March 15, 2011