by Renae Johnson, Fall 2014 Intern
In 2009, Cambodia suspended intercountry adoptions due to concerns about child exploitation. But earlier this year, the Cambodian Central Authority stated its intention to resume intercountry adoptions in 2014. Cambodian officials are currently working on developing and implementing new adoption procedures in order to ensure that they are doing everything in the best interests of children. They are working to strengthen areas of their child welfare and protection system in order to guarantee that future adoptions will be transparent and ethical.
Last week, National Council For Adoption had the privilege of being able to meet and discuss the procedures of intercountry adoption with government officials from Cambodia. Chuck Johnson and Megan Lindsey outlined NCFA’s beliefs about best practices in and how everything should always be done in the best interests of children. We were delighted to be able to share about NCFA resources with the delegation, including our blog, the Adoption Advocate, and our Adoption Fact Book V with them. We are hopeful that the research and resources w will be beneficial to them in their endeavor to improve their domestic and intercountry adoption systems.
Some questions that were discussed include why Americans tend to adopt internationally as opposed to adopting out of the American foster care system, the involvement of social workers in the adoption process, options for birth mothers, and the rights that international adoptees would have in the United States. The timing of post-placement visits and the benefits of visits occurring sooner after placement and being more supportive and educational were all discussed.
Here at National Council For Adoption we believe that children’s best interests should be at the center of any adoption. We are excited to learn of Cambodia’s goals to improve the lives of children in need. We are eager to share our resources with adoption officials in Cambodia -or anyone looking to help children thrive in safe, stable families.