Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Government lays out adoption process

Government lays out adoption process

Speakers seen at the dissemination workshop on explanatory note of domestic adoption yesterday in Phnom Penh's Sunway Hotel.
Speakers seen at the dissemination workshop on explanatory note of domestic adoption yesterday in Phnom Penh's Sunway Hotel. Pha Lina

Government lays out adoption process

Cambodia is aiming to bolster domestic adoptions, despite a severe lack of social workers needed to ensure the safety of children in care, following the launch of an “explanatory note” on the practice on Tuesday.

At a workshop that continued yesterday, Justice Ministry Secretary of State Chan Sotheavy said the note, which lays out the law and procedures around adoptions, will “make it easier” for judges, lawyers and social workers “when they enforce the law”.

Speaking at the workshop, Unicef deputy representative Natascha Paddison said “domestic adoption is currently rarely used in an appropriate way in Cambodia”.

“There are still not enough professional social workers to monitor the alternative care sector, to support families, to support children and to provide the courts with quality and timely advice on the situation of children who may be placed for adoption,” Paddison said.

“In too many countries, children are fostered or adopted into families that turn out to be abusive or unable to adequately care for the children.”

While trying to increase domestic adoption, the government is also aiming to reduce the number of children in orphanages by an ambitious 30 percent by 2018.

The explanatory note follows research by gender studies academic Kasumi Nakagawa, who found that of 7,500 Cambodians surveyed, fewer than one in five thought a couple should adopt if they could not have a child naturally.
Thirty percent said the couple “cannot do anything”, while just over half said the couple should see a doctor and get treatment.

“Adoption is a last resort and many presented negative opinions about adoption,” Nakagawa said, saying the stigma of an “unwanted child” could create family tension.

Unicef spokesman Iman Morooka, however, maintained that “the issue is not that domestic adoption is proving unpopular but that there was a lack of clarity about the law on domestic adoption”, which the explanatory note sought to address.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports