Ministry Investigates Surrogacy Services

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times No Comments Share:

The Justice Ministry is investigating accusations that surrogacy services are being offered in the Kingdom as rumors spread online.
Minister of Justice Ang Vong Vathana said yesterday at a three-day workshop launching the “Explanatory Note of Domestic Adoption,” he was unsure if the rumors pertained to adoption or actual surrogacy.
“When I received this information, we began an investigation with collaboration from the police and Ministry of Health to determine exactly whether the service exists in the country as the accusations suggest,” he said.
Mr. Vong Vathana added that it is a problem that should have never happened, but Cambodia still does not have laws preventing surrogacy.
“This is a problem that we must think about carefully because it will be more difficult in the future as we won’t know the exact identity of the child,” he said.
“And we also need to have a law to prevent surrogacy services because it doesn’t happen from a person’s desire, but to do business related with children that we do not need in Cambodia.”
Mr. Vong Vathana said every child has to receive proper care to grow and develop in society and needs a good family to meet those needs.
He added that it was complicated as the government pays careful attention to adoptions because of concerns over child trafficking.
In yesterday’s workshop, 500 157-page “Explanatory Note on Domestic Adoption” books were distributed to court officials from every city and province.
Debora Comini, a UNICEF representative to Cambodia, said the Explanatory Note was the first of its kind in Cambodia and hoped it would help ensure that children are protected and placed with families that have the ability to care and provide for a child’s needs.
Chan Sotheavy, a secretary of state at the Justice Ministry, said yesterday that adoption in the country and inter-country adoption were connected and the ministry was preparing a statement on how to prevent problems resulting from adoption cases.
She said that domestic adoptions were allowed to continue as usual, but international adoptions were still suspended.
The Explanatory Note aims to provide explanation and guidance to legal officials and other practitioners who are involved in the process of domestic adoption of children in Cambodia, with concrete examples according to existing relevant legal provisions.
Developed by seasoned legal experts, the Explanatory Note is an important step towards establishing better procedures for domestic adoption.

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