The Asia Children’s Association, an adoption intermediary currently under scrutiny by local human rights organizations, supplies children to a number of US-based adoption agencies, according to several adoption sites on the World Wide Web.
Puth Serey, an official with the Asia Children’s Association, is listed as “foreign facilitator” for Angel’s Haven Outreach, Wide Horizons for Children and Ventures for Children.
All three adoption agencies show up on a Web site called www. cambodiaadopt.com, which also lists the “Asian Orphans Association” as one of the orphanages often used by people who find children to adopt through the Web site.
Under the name “Asian Orphans Association,” the Web site displays photos of the Asia Children’s Association’s compound. The image does not show the barbed wire fence circling the grounds.
The Angel’s Haven Outreach adoption agency Web site says parents must pay $12,000 to them and the “foreign facilitator,” listed as Puth Serey of Asia Children’s Association at www.cambodiaadopt.com.
According to sources as varied as the commune chief where ACA is located, neighbors of ACA and human rights groups, the association often pays mothers or hospitals $50 to $60 for a child.
Neighbors of the compound said Wednesday that eight or nine foreigners drive inside the compound each weekend.
Police took custody of 12 children Monday and arrested four associates of the Asia Children’s Association for suspected child trafficking. Some of the children were 1 or 2 weeks old, according to a human rights worker who was present at the time of the arrests.
As of Thursday, the 12 children were still being kept in a safehouse, the human rights worker said. Puth Serey and the ACA remain unavailable for comment.
(Additional reporting by Ana Nov)