On June 23rd and 24th, a Seminary took place in Cambodia in which UNICEF presented a new proposed adoption law to the Royal Cambodian Government (RCG), Parliament, representatives from local and foreign NGO’s, and representatives from various Embassies. Ambassador Ray confirmed that representatives from the US attended the Seminary.
It is our understanding that the final draft of the proposed law has not been released as of yet by UNICEF. Early reports indicate that no activity has occurred in respect to movement on the new law due to Cambodian elections.
In July, the JCICS sent a formal letter introducing Joint Council and offering our assistance to the RCG. We are hopeful that this may serve to pave the way for future communication with the Cambodian officials.
U.S. Department of State’s Notice
Important Update Regarding Cambodia Adoptions
February 12, 2002
Expressing particular concern about the adoption process in Cambodia, On December 21, 2001, Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security (BCIS) Commissioner James Ziglar announced an immediate suspension of the processing of adoption petitions in Cambodia. On January 25, 2002 the Cambodian Foreign Ministry verbally notified the U.S. State Department that it would suspend the issuance of adoption documentation to American families in acknowledgement of trafficking concerns and other problems in the adoption process in Cambodia.
Therefore, any adoption petitions or approved home studies involving Cambodian orphans arriving at our Embassies in either Phnom Penh, Cambodia, or Bangkok, Thailand after December 21, 2001 will be forwarded to the State Department’s National Visa Center (NVC) in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to be held until such time as the Cambodian suspension is completely lifted. These cases will not be processed while the suspension is in effect. Prospective parents in this situation are strongly urged to consider having their cases redirected for adoption in another country, as it is unlikely the suspension will be lifted completely in the foreseeable future. Those wishing to redirect their adoption to a country other than Cambodia should inform the BCIS. Upon notification from the BCIS, NVC will send the case to the appropriate overseas Consulate or Embassy.
Petitions and home studies received prior to the December 21, 2001 suspension will be held at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok.