The Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation will reopen inter-country adoption between Cambodia and Italy, with officials saying that adoption is an excellent way to ensure Cambodian foster children get a chance at a better life.

Social affairs minister Vong Soth, who is also president of the Cambodian international child adoption central committee, met with Vincenzo Starita, vice-president of the Italy Central Authority, and Raffaele Benedictis, an adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and member of the International Children’s Committee, last week to discuss the plan.

The meeting touched on work related to international adoption, as well as offering a chance to exchange knowledge and international cooperative activities.

The ministry’s General Department of Technical Affairs’ director-general Touch Channy said on May 4 that Cambodia and Italy have been working together for a long time.

“Preparation of the adoption laws was begun some time ago, but was suspended as the Kingdom sought to clarify certain legal procedures. Following a meeting with Italian agencies, the ministry is now resuming the process of international adoption,” he added.

He said Italy had requested that the ministry resume its cooperation.

“Adoption is an option that could offer solutions to unwanted foster children, as it will give them a dedicated caregiver and a high standard of living. We closed international adoption in the past, because we needed to prepare comprehensive documents,” he added.

“Adoption is one way of helping children have a better future. If there are potential foster parents in Italy who want to adopt, than that is excellent. Italy is a developed European country, so the children are sure to have many great opportunities open up for them,” he said.