An impoverished mother who allowed a non-profit to send her children abroad for adoption and a hoped-for better life was reunited on Tuesday with the organisation responsible for her offspring’s departure.
Nine years ago, Kampong Cham resident Uon Nhor, 40, left her four children with the Phnom Penh-based Children and Poor Community Development Organization because her salary from a rubber plantation didn’t allow her to provide for their education. After the organisation sent the children to Italy and England for adoption, Nhor stayed in contact with the organisation’s director for updates about her children’s lives.
But when the orphanage moved from central Phnom Penh to Meanchey district and former director Meas Yuth – who continued to act as liaison after his retirement – lost his phone, Nhor lost her sole link to her children and panicked. After six months with no contact, she eventually sought help from the rights group Licadho, which brought her this week to meet the organisation’s new director.
“[The director] gave me a document explaining where the children are. Three went to Italy and one went to England,” Nhor said. “I have been away from my children for nine years already . . . I want to hear from them and have a conversation with them once a month on the phone”.
Yuth, the former director of the organisation, said the adoption agreement signed by the Ministry of Social Affairs stipulates that the adoptive parents must provide information about the children to the ministry every six months.