Sunday, February 21, 2010
December 24, 2009
On December 3, 2009, a new law on intercountry adoption was signed by the King of the Government of Cambodia. The new law seeks to create a country-wide comprehensive child welfare system and an intercountry adoption process in compliance with the Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention. This is an important first step in Cambodia's expressed commitment to reforming its child welfare system and in seeking to meet its treaty obligations under the Convention. Cambodia has indicated that the processing of all intercountry adoptions throughout the country will be suspended until the law is fully implemented and necessary procedures are in place.
At this time, it is not possible to estimate when Cambodia might resume processing intercountry adoptions or when adoptions will be able to resume between the United States and Cambodia. In order to implement the new law fully, Cambodia will first need to establish the necessary government structures to support it, draft and finalize prakas (Ministerial orders/regulations), and determine and fill staffing and training needs. Issues related to transparency in fees, procedural safeguards, determination of a child's eligibility for intercountry adoption, criminal penalties and the creation of a strategy to formalize and strengthen the domestic adoption system will all need to be effectively addressed.
The United States continues to support Cambodia's desire to create a child welfare system and an intercountry adoption process that fulfills its obligations under the Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention and welcomes its efforts to fully implement the new law on intercountry adoption.
Updated information will be provided on www.adoption.state.gov as it becomes available.