“Victims of Decolonization”: The 1955 Franco-Vietnamese Convention on Citizenship and the Removal of Mixed-Race Children in the Post-Colonial Era, 1956–75
In France, the FOEFI raised wards in specialized métis-only orphanages. While many of the children have positive memories of their childhood in FOEFI orphanages, a striking number of them committed suicide or died from questionable causes--something that was not lost on some French bureaucrats. Except a small handful, FOEFI wards would have to wait until the 1990s to return to Vietnam to look for their families; many returned to find that their mothers had since passed away.
This paper uses information gleaned from multiple archives and libraries in Vietnam and France-- including documents of the French government, the Republic of Vietnam, and the FOEFI files; Vietnamese and French language newspapers; as well as memoirs by and oral history interviews with former FOEFI wards—to explore the motivations behind the post-colonial métis removal policy and the contentious debates over métis belonging in both the French and South Vietnamese nation.
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