Africa: The New Frontier for Intercountry Adoption

Theme:
  • Intercountry Adoption
Pages: 75
Year of Publication: 2012
Country: Africa

This report provides a situational analysis of the law and practice of intercountry adoption in Africa, with the aim of  informing debate on conceptualising, developing and implementing polices, laws, programmes and research in relation to intercountry adoption in Africa.

Intercountry adoption has never been free from controversy at any point in its history, from its roots as a relatively simple, legally created filiation tie to its perception as a humanitarian act, and then to its wide acceptance as an option for childless people who wish to create a family. now, it is a major aspect of modern family law, and therefore an attractive target for a wide circle of academics, journalists, and politicians with a diversity of agendas. The attention that  intercountry adoption attracts reconfirms the assertion that, though it may seem ironic that a policy affecting so few children should engage so much political and social attention, the symbolic significance of intercountry adoption far outweighs its practical import.

It is argued that the polarised views and debates on intercountry adoption are a function of its spreading practice and the awareness thereof, and of its extension to regions that are only beginning to develop the cultural, legal, social, and physical infrastructure for adoption. in this regard, the Africa region is a good example. A number of external factors at the international level, such as dwindling numbers of adoptable children from traditional ‘sending’ countries in the Western world, have increasingly directed ‘receiving’ countries to look for adoptable children in African countries.

As a result, despite the fact that the continent’s laws, policies and practices are generally ill equipped to uphold the best interests of children, Africa is becoming the new frontier for intercountry adoption. With globalisation, there are also indications that illicit activities that violate children’s best interests on the African continent are on the rise, encouraged by a shortage of adoptable children in other parts of the world, the shifting focus of intercountry adoption to Africa, increasing poverty in Africa, and accompanying weak institutional law enforcement capacity of African State institutions.

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