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Ethiopia bans foreign adoptions as new family law is approved in parliament

Ban on foreign adoptions seen in positive light but there are other concerns

Child adoption - parliament
Ethiopian Parliament
Credit : EBC

January 10,2017

Ethiopia has been a major source of International child adoption for well over a decade but it will no longer be the case as parliament approved a law that bans foreign adoptions.

The eleventh parliamentary session approved the family law amending it in a way to make child adoptions only within the country.

The decision to take care of orphaned and vulnerable children in the country is intended to raise children within Ethiopian social and cultural.

Three members of parliament voted against the amendment while three other abstained, according to state media.

More than twenty thousand children were adopted by foreigners in the last two decades after the government closed down a state-funded orphanage in Zeway. For many Ethiopians, the issue has been seen as one of the manifestations of unpatriotic nature of the ruling party.

The government’s decision to ban foreign adoption is seen in a positive light by many Ethiopians. The existing concern in that regard now appears to be a possible loophole which would enable foreigners to use Ethiopians to take children out of Ethiopia. Some even say that agents with links to government authorities could do it clandestinely.

The fact that government has not prepared support centers for orphans and vulnerable children is also a concern.

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