US Ambassador Todd: "A Strong System Needed to Protect Cambodian Children"

posted Mar 27, 2014, 8:01 PM by Christina C.
In a column written for the Cambodia Herald on March 9, 2014, the U.S. Ambassador discussed the recent progress between the U.S. and Cambodia toward restarting inter-country adoptions.  After summarizing recent meetings and plans, Ambassador Todd emphasized that more work needs to be done before the U.S. ban can be lifted.
"While Cambodia is justifiably proud of its achievements since passing its 2009 Intercountry Adoption Law, this is not the time to rest, but rather to re-double efforts to ensure that the implementation of the new adoption regulations is successful.  It is imperative that a comprehensive case-management system be in operation before intercountry adoptions resume in order to track children who may be eligible for adoption and match them with prospective parents.  Also, a case-management system helps combat trafficking by clearly documenting how a child came into alternative care and ensuring that the child’s biological parents, if alive, have knowingly consented to the child’s adoption.  The Hague Convention’s requirement that due consideration be given to domestic adoption before pursuing intercountry adoption can also be documented through a good case-management system.  The Cambodian government must also look to hire a larger cadre of professionally trained and experienced social workers to ensure proper management of this system."
Read the full column here.