Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Adoptee Voice: Camryn Mosley

Camryn Mosely recently completed an interview with Guam Family Magazine. The resulting article was published in November 2009 and is now available online at: http://issuu.com/guamfamilymagazine/docs/nov09issuehires

Camryn was adopted from Cambodia in December 1999. Her adoption adoption story was highlighted in the Washington Post and People magazine after it was discovered and reported that her history and documents had been falsified. Due to Camryn's bravery and the Mosley's persistence, the agency that arranged Camryn's adoption, Seattle International Adoptions was investigated and finally closed. It's owners, sisters Lauryn Galindo and Lynn Devin, pled guilty to numerous federal criminal charges.

Please take a moment to read Camryn's story.

Cross posted on PEAR's Main Blog

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

MEDIA: CAMBODIA plans to reopen the door to foreign adoptions by the end of March 2011

The following article was reported at

via CAAI News Media

Tuesday, 30 March 2010 15:05
Mom Kunthear and Irwin Loy

CAMBODIA plans to reopen the door to foreign adoptions by the end of March 2011, officials said Monday, meaning the Kingdom has one year to meet strict international guidelines put in place to prevent child trafficking.

The announcement comes after the National Assembly passed a law aimed at governing international adoptions last December. Observers say the law is crucial to ending the allegedly widespread practice of “baby-buying”, but some have raised questions about the government’s ability to enforce it.

At a workshop Monday, Social Affairs Minister Ith Sam Heng said authorities want to finalise a system for foreign adoptions of Cambodian children by the end of March 2011.

“The government will start to receive adoption proposals from ... other countries who want to adopt Cambodian children,” Ith Sam Heng said.

“We have one year – 12 months – to implement and enforce the inter-country adoption law.”

Despite the proposed timeline, it remains to be seen whether the law will be stringent enough to ensure compliance with the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption, which sets strict terms on who should be eligible for international adoptions and how those adoptions should be regulated.

Though Cambodia has ratified the convention, countries including the US, Australia, France and Canada have effectively placed moratoriums on adopting children from Cambodia, citing concerns about the Kingdom’s ability to comply with the guidelines.

Rights groups have long raised allegations that adoptions in Cambodia have fuelled child trafficking.

A 2002 briefing by rights group Licadho raised alarms over what it said were “clear patterns and networks” aimed at purchasing babies and young children for adoption. Licadho alleged that impoverished women were coerced into giving up their children and said that some orphanages and adoption facilitators profited from the exchanges, often with the help of corrupt local officials.

Problems persist despite the government’s attempt at reforms, said Licadho President Pung Chhiv Kek.

“The fact remains that illegal adoptions are still an issue,” said Pung Chhiv Kek, who wondered whether authorities will be equipped to enforce the Hague Convention – and whether other jurisdictions will determine that Cambodia has sufficiently met its obligations to lift their moratoriums.

“It is to be seen that this convention is strictly enforced,” Pung Chhiv Kek said, linking the issue to corruption. “Adoption will always remain a concern as long as birth certificates and other documents can be forged or purchased easily.”

Organisations that work with children have also expressed concern. In a briefing submitted to the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in December, the NGO Friends International urged countries to “refrain from lifting their respective moratorium until Cambodia fully complies with the requirements set forth by the Hague Convention”.

“Private orphanages continue to exist without proper monitoring in the country, and so does the commerce of children,” the NGO said in its briefing.

December’s law provides a framework for how children can be adopted, but authorities still must flesh out the tools that will allow its implementation.

Authorities have proposed capping the number of adoption agencies allowed to operate in the Kingdom and are debating whether to charge prospective parents a US$5,000 fee, Ith Sam Heng said Monday.

From 1998 until 2009, more than 3,500 orphan children were adopted by foreign parents, he said.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

UPDATE: DOS Adoption Notice


Adoption Notice

Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues

March 2010

On December 3, 2009, new legislation on intercountry adoption was signed into law in 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 (the Convention) to which Cambodia is a party. This is an important first step in Cambodia's expressed commitment to reform its child welfare system and meet its treaty obligations under the Convention. In order to be able to establish necessary regulations and standard procedures to implement the new Law on Intercountry Adoption, the Cambodian Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation has announced a temporary suspension of the receipt of all new intercountry adoption dossiers until March 2011. This will not adversely affect any U.S cases since no new cases have been submitted in the last several years.

At this time, it is not possible to estimate when adoptions will resume between the United States and Cambodia. In order to implement the new law in full, 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 addressed effectively.

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 Cambodia’s efforts to fully implement the new law on intercountry adoption.

Updated information will be provided on
www.adoption.state.gov as it becomes available.