The law aims to bring Cambodia in line with the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption, which sets strict terms for who should be eligible for international adoptions and how those adoptions should be regulated.
Cambodia has already ratified the convention but countries including the US, Australia, France and Canada have effectively placed moratoriums on adopting children from Cambodia.
Under the new law, the Social Affairs Ministry will establish a body called the Inter-Country Adoption Administration that will regulate the adoption process and coordinate with foreign countries.
The ICAA will be responsible for arranging and approving adoptions, he added, matching prospective parents with Cambodian children. Local agencies facilitating international adoptions will be required to work through the body.
Questions remain, however, about whether the new legislation will be able to overcome the issues of “baby selling” and corruption that have dogged the Cambodian adoption process in the past.
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