Cambodia: U.S. Department of State talks with Cambodian Government

03/2004

The U.S. Department of State met with the Cambodian government in Phnom Penh in early March. The meeting discussed what steps have been taken within Cambodia since the moratorium took effect and what other issues must be considered before adoptions can resume. They were able to gather quite a bit of useful information on the current adoption situation and will be shortly forming recommendations to the Cambodian and US governments on how to proceed. All parties involved would like to see the Cambodian government take steps to create an adoption system with good safeguards for children, birth parents and adoptive parents.

JCICS has confirmed that as a result of a multi-lateral effort, new draft legislation governing adoptions exists but it is not slated for implementation at this time. However, according to a State Department representative, legislation alone is not a United States requirement for the resumption of adoptions. Ensuring that resources and mechanisms for adoption processes are in place and functioning are key components to a future system. While initial reports of the meeting are positive, this should not be construed as an indication that adoptions will quickly resume. Once the delegation finalizes their report JCICS will update our website with any additional information.

In addition, the Department of State is working the completion of the last category four families. Any families that are eligible to adopt a Cambodian child under category four status must contact the Department of State as soon as possible.

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