Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Guidelines seek to streamline domestic adoptions

Guidelines seek to streamline domestic adoptions

Children take part in a painting activity earlier this year at a Phnom Penh orphanage.
Children take part in a painting activity earlier this year at a Phnom Penh orphanage. Athena Zelandonii

Guidelines seek to streamline domestic adoptions

New guidelines aimed at clarifying domestic adoption procedures in Cambodia were released yesterday, with officials saying the so-called explanatory note could increase the number of in-country adoptions by helping would-be adoptive parents more easily navigate the byzantine process.

The guidelines were released by the Ministry of Justice and UNICEF at the beginning of a three-day national workshop. They are based on legal provisions that already exist but are scattered throughout multiple government prakases and the civil code.

“In Cambodia, many children are still deprived of family and community care, and grow up in inappropriate environments, such as institutions that cannot possibly replace the individualised care and love of a family,” said Debora Comini, UNICEF representative for Cambodia.

The guidelines are an “important step” as the country seeks solutions to the issue of children not having a proper place to grow up, she added.

Though the adoption process used to be prohibitively difficult to navigate, the explanatory note will provide guidance and streamline the process for judges, social workers, lawyers and adoptive parents.

“Very few cases of domestic adoption have happened in Cambodia because of the lack of clarity,” said Lucia Soleti, a child protection specialist with UNICEF. Several officials in both the ministries of social affairs and justice yesterday weren’t able to provide the number of children who are currently eligible for adoption.

But a preliminary March report from the Ministry of Social Affairs found that there were 11,788 children living in 267 facilities across five provinces. Many of them have parents who are not able to care for them.

Jesse Blaine, general manager for Children in Families, a foster care placement provider, called the guidelines “a step forward in establishing standard policy for domestic adoption”.

However, Sambath Sokunthea, child rights technical co-ordinator for Plan International Cambodia, said she would request that both ministries work closely, otherwise, the guidelines might not make much of a difference.

“If they work separately, maybe they won’t find a clear approach,” she said.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • Nestle’s debut may spur dairy market

    Leading confectionery manufacturer Nestle plans to invest in Cambodia by setting up an operation in the near future, a move majorly hailed by local dairy farmers as a means of boosting the fresh milk market in the Kingdom. During a visit by a delegation led

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement