Children born from a Vietnamese mother and an American father often faced severe discrimination in their communities for their ties to the United States. Many of these children had distinct physical characteristics, such as pale or dark skin, blue or green eyes, and differnent hair colors that set them apart from other children in their communities. Life became even more complicated for Amerasians and their families after the withdrawl of American troops and the Fall of Saigon in 1975. Many mothers were worried that the Northern troops would kill thier children. To protect them, some mothers sent them to adoption agencies to be evacuated out of Vietnam during Operation Babylift. Still there were thousands more children who were not able to leave. These children led difficult lives, either abandoned by their parents or hated by their communities.
Children often quit school early because of severe taunting by their classmates, or discrimination by their teachers. One of the many taunts used was My-lai, meaning "American half-breed" in Vietnamese. From their decision to quit school, many Amerasian children were not educated and were illterate. They could not join the workforce and stayed at home to work the rice paddy field or family business.
During the 1980s-90s, the Amerasian Resettlement Program was established by the United States to help Amerasians immigrate to America. At first this program accepted almost 90% of its applicants, but that number gradually declined to about 5-10%. Now Amerasians needed proof of their American fathers, but this proved difficult as all evidence with American soldiers, including photographs and letters were burned to ensure the family's saftey.
As the children grew into young adults, they often married early and sometimes were married as an escape ticket out of Vietnam. Thier spouses and thier families could be eligiable to immigrate to the US under the Amerasian Resettlement Program. Many did not succeed in leaving Vietnam, but those who did often faced more challenges in America. Since many were not educated, there was no way for them to comepete in the job force and it was difficult to find other jobs when they did not know English.