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Cambodia working to resume international adoptions in 2014

California residents who are interested in becoming parents through international adoption may be interested to learn that, after four years of prohibiting international adoption, Cambodia plans to resume the process in 2014. The announcement came after years of working with UNICEF and The Hague Conference to ensure that international adoptions occurred legally and that there were mechanism put into place to ensure that parents were not duped into giving up their children.

In the past, international adoption practices within Cambodia were rife with corruption. Up until 2009, poorly educated and impoverished parents were often tricked into giving up their children. The children would be placed in local orphanages before being adopted out to foreign families. Brokers and other officials would often pocket thousands of dollars per adoption as 'processing fees." In 2001, several countries, including the UK, the United States and France prohibited their residents from adopting children from Cambodia.

Since then, the country has been working to implement laws regarding international adoption and training the authorities to ensure that parents understand and consent to inter-country adoption, even if they cannot read the paperwork that they are signing. In addition, Cambodia is also addressing problems with birth certificates, as less than 40 percent of Cambodian children have them.

International adoption can be incredibly tricky. The laws and requirements may be different depending upon the country the parents are trying to adopt the child from. An attorney may be able to help the parents understand the legal processes involved with child adoption, including the rights of the parents and any government assistance to which they may be entitled.

Source: Voice of America, "Cambodia Says International Adoptions Will Resume in 2014", Robert Carmichael, December 05, 2013

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