Joint Council staff and Board of Directors met with the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on Monday in conjunction with our quarterly Board meeting. The following update was supplied to us by DOS:
During its November 27-30 session, the Cambodian National Assembly approved Cambodia’s joining the Hague Adoption Convention. The Convention was sent to the Cambodian Senate on December 7th for approval; it was also sent to the Council of Ministers for review. This forward movement is in keeping with what Cambodian government officials had told Assistant Secretary Maura Harty and Children’s Issues Director, Ellen Conway, during their September visit to Phnom Penh in early December. At the time they shared that ratification of the Convention is a high priority for the Cambodian government. As of January 22nd, however, DOS is unaware of further progress in the Convention’s ratification by Cambodia. DOS continues to impress upon Cambodian officials that the United States is willing to help Cambodia in implementing both adoption-related and broader child welfare reforms. The latter are a necessary prerequisite to a possible future reopening of Cambodia for intercountry adoptions to the United States.