Intercountry Adoption: An African Perspective

Theme:
  • Intercountry Adoption
Pages: 48
Year of Publication: 2012
Country: Africa

Africa has become the new frontier for intercountry adoption. Between 2003 and 2010, the number of children adopted from Africa increased three fold. yet Africa seems to be ill-equipped in law, policy and practice, to provide its children with enough safeguards when they are adopted internationally.

The list of issues that seem to defy consensus in the context of intercountry adoption in Africa is long. The cultural disconnect that children are subjected to in the adoption process raises significant concern; the definition of a family environment in terms of the African charter on the rights and Welfare of the child and the un convention on the rights of the child for the purpose of adoption is contentious; the basic questions of adoptability and who can adopt are critical to the African context due to varying interpretations; the implications of considering intercountry adoption as a measure of last resort continue to pose difficult legal and ethical complexities for African countries. in practice, intercountry adoption suffers from poor regulation in many African countries and where regulation exists, implementation of the same is inadequate.

intercountry adoption is an area which has not been comprehensively documented in Africa. This report is an abridged version of the ACPF study entitled “Africa: The New Frontier for Intercountry Adoption”. it highlights the legal and policy gaps that expose adopted children to abuse and exploitation, the policy options for intercountry adoption, and presents ACPF’s position on intercountry adoption. African societies and above all, African governments have and must assume full responsibility to provide the legal and material basis for the raising of Africa’s children.

ACPF believes that developing and supporting community based mechanisms of caring for children deprived of a family environment is an obligation which African governments must fulfill. children must be allowed to grow up in their own families or communities to ensure continuity in their upbringing in an atmosphere of happiness, love and safety.

This report advocates for intercountry adoption to be a measure of the very last resort for children in need of a family environment, taking place only in exceptional circumstances, guided by the best interests of the child.

Language: English
Published by: African Child Policy Forum (ACPF)
Author: African Child Policy Forum (ACPF)
Located in: Publications
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