In Cambodia, Holt’s social work team has helped to develop three care alternatives for children growing up in institutional care — kinship care, foster care and for the first time, a formal, ethical system of domestic adoption. In March 2021, the first child in Cambodia joined her adoptive family via this new process.
In May 2020, early in the COVID pandemic, a baby girl was born in a hospital in Cambodia. She was small — weighing just over 5 pounds — but her eyes were dark and lovely and shining with light.
A bright new life had just begun.
But for her mom, this was not a day of celebration. As she looked in the eyes of her newborn daughter, she faced a heartbreaking decision.
Unmarried, and separated from the baby’s father, she feared her family’s reaction if she came home with a child. In many communities in Cambodia, the stigma of single motherhood remains alive and well — shaming women for having a child outside of marriage. This newborn girl’s mom had managed to keep her pregnancy a secret from her family. And on the day her daughter was born, she decided to relinquish her parental rights. Continue reading “First Child in Cambodia Joins Family Via Domestic Adoption”