Ban on Cambodian Adoptions to US lifts Jan 1 2013

At least one of the same players as in 2001: Ith Sam Heng

From Phnom Penh Post

Ban on US adoptions to end with new year
Tuesday, 30 October 2012 Vong Sokheng

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday officially announced that a ban on adoptions to the United States will be lifted on January 1. In 2001, the US, United Kingdom, Canada, France and Australia suspended adoption petitions citing the scant regulations in place. Cambodia later instituted a ban of its own on all foreign adoptions in 2009, passing a law that placed severe limitations on who was permitted to adopt in-country.

The announcement came following a meeting between Secretary of State Long Visalo and Ambassador Susan Jacobs, a US special adviser for children’s issues, who has been visiting regional nations this week.

“We made the law according to The Hague Adoption Convention, and we are thinking about the future of Cambodian children, as they will be able to receive a good education after being adopted,” said Visalo. “We are not allowing them to be abandoned.”

A quota of 100 to 200 children per year will be enforced, said Visalo, with the aim of preventing the exploitation and trafficking of children, and only children younger than 8 will be permitted to be adopted.

Visalo declined to comment on whether the ban will be lifted for all countries or only for the US.

Ith Sam Heng, minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation said that the Cambodian government is still working to establish the necessary child welfare institutions in order to expand adoptions to other countries.
Am Sam Ath, a technical supervisor for rights group Licadho, said that he supported the new policy, but has concerns over its potential loopholes.

“We have remaining concerns over the issue of inter-country adoption, because there were many problems in the past related to exploitation and the trafficking of children,” said Sam Ath.

From VOA Khmer

Cambodia To Reopen Adoption for Foreign Families
Adoptions will be limited, but the decision reverses a ban that has been in effect since 2009. Adoptions will resume Jan. 1, 2013.
Heng Reaksmey, VOA Khmer
30 October 2012
PHNOM PENH - Cambodian is now set to reopen adoptions to outside families, officials said Monday, following a meeting between government officials and US diplomats.
Adoptions will be limited, but the decision reverses a ban that has been in effect since 2009. Adoptions will resume Jan. 1, 2013.
Long Visalo, a secretary of state for the Foreign Ministry, told reporters he had met with Susan Jacobs, US special ambassador for children’s rights, to discuss adoptions and other issues. Cambodia now has regulations and safeguards to ensure safe adoptions, he said.
Jacobs was on a trip through Asia to discuss Hague conventions on against child abduction and improper international adoptions.
Cambodia passed a law to better regulate adoptions in 2009, following criticism of a system susceptible to human trafficking and the sale of children to adoption agencies serving prospective parents from wealthy, Western nations.
Long Visalo said Cambodia had put into place better regulations to prevent such practices.

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