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The African Child Information Hub

NEWSLETTER | ISSUE No 33

March 2018

TRANSITIONING FROM INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION With a Country Focus on Ethiopia


We have a lot of homework to do despite our recent progress in ensuring children’s rights. But the problem is not an issue left to government alone and requires a collaborative effort of concerned bodies. H.E Ms. Zenebu Taddesse, Former Ethiopian Minister of Women, Children and Youth Affairs. (IPC Conference, 2012) Photo: LifeSource Cover picture: Living and Loving, South Africa. Graphic & Editorial Design: The African Child Information Hub (InfoHub)


ISSUE #33 of the

African Child Information Hub Newsletter

THEME:

INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION

Editorial - p.4 Annual Adoption Statistics - p.6 Hana’s Story

An adoptee’s tragic fate, and how it could happen again - p.8

The Fifth International Policy Conference on the African Child (IPC):

Intercountry Adoption - Alternatives and Controversies - p.12 Alternatives to Intercountry Adoption - Good Practices in Africa - p.14

News Highlights

ETHIOPIA bans foreign adoptions - p.20 UGANDA «Kids for sale: My mom was tricked» - p. 22

Publications - p.26 Upcoming Event - p.28 About the African Child Information Hub - p. 30 3


Editorial Welcome to the Thirty-third Issue of The African Child Newsletter

Transitioning from intercountry adoption to a more sustainable domestic options for African countries

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As of January 9, 2018, the Ethiopian Parliament banned intercountry adoption. The lawmaking chamber held that the law which previously allowed adoption by foreigners – articles 193 and 194 of the amended family proclamation No. 213/2000 – had in part facilitated abuse against children, primarily because the arrangements for regulating and monitoring the practice were inadequate.

(Photograph by Claudiad, Getty Images)

In Ethiopia an estimated 90001 orphaned children stay in 161 orphanages or other residential care facilities. The vast majority of

Ethiopia’s 4 million2 orphans are cared for under informal kinship arrangements. Reports of repeated abuse and child trafficking pushed


Ethiopia to cut back on International adoption by 90% since 2012. In addition, in many cases, there isn’t much information on the whereabouts of the children after the adoption is completed and the children have gone to live abroad. Which undermines the ability to monitor the wellbeing of these kids, consequently, to ensure that children’s best interests are being upheld, as specified in the Article 21 and 24 of the UNCRC and the ACRWC.

Ethiopia’s ban on international adoption is a judicious response to the atrocities witnessed by some children, but what now? Taking into consideration the significant number of orphans in Ethiopia, an effective national child protection system that supports and promotes provision of quality holistic care and de-institutionalization, inclusive of the most marginalised children such as, children with disabilities and children living and/or working in the street is mandatory. Government entities, with an ef-

fective collaboration between community-based coalitions and religious groups should focus on supporting the implementation and monitoring of existing policies and standards in support of alternative care; supporting de-institutionalization and reintegration efforts of children that are currently in residential care; strengthening existing systems and structures to provide better alternative care for all children; implementing measures to prevent family separation and child abandonment; and ensuring that children’s voices are taken into account in alternative care reform efforts. This whole approach is predicated on the absolute necessity of African governments adopting an approach that focuses on a more sustainable and systemic solution in their respective national child protection agenda. Source: Ethiopian Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs 2 Source: Ethiopian Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs 1

The African Child Information Hub (InfoHub) 5


Annual Adoption Statistics Focus country: Ethiopia

RECEIVING STATES 2004 – 2015 STATES OF ORIGIN 2004 - 2015 Source: HCCH Adoption Section - Annual adoption statistics Selman, P. (2017) Global Statistics for Intercountry Adoption: Receiving States and States of origin 2004-2015

These tables are based on data provided by receiving States. The statistics used for the USA are Fiscal Year data from the US Department of State. For 2010- 2015 these are taken from their Annual Reports on Intercountry Adoption and for 2010 include 1,090 ‘humanitarian’ visas issued after the Haiti earthquake from 2004-9 they are from the Department’s website. Table 1 has data for 24 receiving States - with the addition of Slovenia from 2005. The data for 20102015 have been revised in the light of new statistics provided for the 2015 Special Commission by several States, including Canada, Germany and Luxembourg. In Table 2 annual totals for States of origin 2004-15 are based on 25-27 receiving States and include statistics submitted to the Hague Permanent Bureau by Austria and Portugal (2005-9) and Monaco

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(2007-15). Totals for some States of origin may be too low where receiving States do not give numbers below 5 (e.g. UK 2004-15 and Italy 2013). Table 1: Top 3 Receiving states 2004-2015, ranked by total number of adoptions over the period USA

165.504

France

36.792

Spain

35.193

Table 2: Top 3 states of Origin 2004-2015: ranked by number of adoption to 23/27 Receiving states China

81.650

Russia

50.200

Ethiopia

31.401

Comments, corrections and suggestions by e-mail are welcome, please contact: Peter Selman, Newcastle University, UK pfselman@yahoo.co.uk


A comparison of total number of Intercountry Adoption made in 6 different African countries from 2010 to 2013 Source: African Child Data and Statistics Portal Data range: 2010 - 2013 Frequency: Annual Publication date: October 2015 Visit the African Child Data and Statistics Portal for additional data.

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Hana’s story An adoptee’s tragic fate, and how it could happen again By Kathryn Joyce Source: Slate On the night ocf May 11, 2011, sometime around midnight, 13-yearold Hana Williams fell face-forward in her parents’ backyard. Adopted from Ethiopia three years before, Hana was naked and severely underweight. Her head had recently been shaved, and her body bore the scars of repeated beatings with a plastic plumbing hose. Inside the house, her adoptive mother, 42-year-old Carri Williams, and a number of Hana’s eight siblings had been peering out the window for the past few hours, watching as Hana staggered and thrashed around, removed her clothing in what is known as hypothermic paradoxical undressing and fell repeatedly, hitting her head. According to Hana’s brother Immanuel, a deaf 10-year-old also adopted from Ethiopia, the family appeared to be 8

laughing at her. When one of Carri’s biological daughters reported that Hana was lying facedown, Carri came outside. Upset by Hana’s immodest nakedness, Carri fetched a bedsheet and covered her before asking two teenage sons to carry her in. She called her husband, Larry, who was on his way home from a late shift at Boeing, then finally dialed 911, telling the operator, “I think my daughter just killed herself. … She’s really rebellious.” From court testimony, pretrial motions, and a detective’s affidavit,


here is what we know about what led up to that night: Hana had been outside since the midafternoon, wearing cutoff sweatpants and a short-sleeved shirt in the rainy, mid-40s drizzle of spring in Sedro-Woolley, Wash.—a small town just 40 miles south of the Canadian border. Carri had originally sent Hana outside that day as a punishment, ordering her to do jumping jacks to stay warm. She walked Hana to an outhouse reserved for her use and watched her fall several times, but went back inside to avoid seeing what she thought was

attention-seeking behavior. As the hours wore on, Hana refused to come back in when Carri called. Carri put out dry clothes and sent two of her biological sons to hit Hana on her bottom with a plastic switch for disobeying. But Hana had begun to remove her clothing, and Carri, who believed in strict modesty, called the boys back in. As the operator walked her through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, an even-voiced Carri explained that Hana’s mouth was full of mud, her eyes dilated, “like she’s in a dark room.” Her voice grew annoyed as

Source: Slate

9 (Photograph by ACPF)


Source: Slate

she described Hana’s nudity, and how she’d been “passive-aggressive,” causing “so much stress!” Hana was pronounced dead at the hospital, the cause hypothermia compounded by malnutrition and gastritis. The following day, when Child Protective Services tried to check on the other children, Larry Williams refused to let them in. When police followed up, a deputy noted that the family acted as though Hana’s death was “an everyday occurrence.” Twelve days later, detectives and CPS conducted interviews with the children, but their answers seemed rote and rehearsed, all repeating that Hana was rebellious and refused to mind Carri; one child said he thought Hana was possessed by demons. 10

According to investigators, Immanuel said that “people like [Hana] got spankings for lying and go into the fires of hell,” just before Larry abruptly ended the interview. Two months later, in mid-July, CPS received an anonymous tip from someone claiming that Carri didn’t like her adopted children and that Immanuel was starting to be treated like Hana had been. CPS launched a formal investigation, and all eight remaining children went into state care. In late September, Larry and Carri were arrested and charged with Hana’s death. When Hana died, she became one of at least dozens of adoptees alleged to have been killed at their adoptive parents’ hands in the past 20 years, and part of a far larger group of children who become estranged from their adoptive families—frequently, as it turns out, large families with fundamentalist beliefs about child rearing. Just within the Seattle area, and just among Ethiopian adoptees who came from the same orphanage and adoption agency as Hana, there has been an unreported crisis of «forever families» that fail. These are adoptions that, in an absence of any real oversight and in environments of harsh discipline, began with good intentions but went profoundly wrong.


Hana Williams, believed to be about 13, was honored at a vigil held after her adopted parents were sentenced to decades in prison. Photo: Kuov Photo / Liz Jones

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Conference

5th INTERNATIONAL POLICY CONFERENCE ON THE AFRICAN CHILD (IPC): Intercountry adoption - alternatives and controversies

The African Child Policy Forum held its Fifth International Policy Conference on the African Child (IPC) on May 29th and 30th, 2012. Since 2004, ACPF has organised the International Policy Conference on the African Child (IPC). This is a major biennial event aimed at promoting policy dialogue and providing a platform for leading thinkers, policy makers, practitioners and activists to positively engage and interact on the challenges facing children in Africa and the policy choices that governments could consider to promote children’s rights and wellbeing. Four IPCs have been held so far, on the following themes: The African Child and the Family (2004), Violence against Girls in Africa (2006), Child Poverty in Africa (2008) and Budgeting for Children in Africa (2010). The Conference is entitled ‘Intercountry Adoption”: Alternatives and Controversies’. The choice of

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the theme for the Fifth IPC was based on the growing interest in the adoption of children from Africa to other continents, and the ostensible lack of comprehensive regulation on the subject currently prevailing in the continent, which sometimes leads to discrepancies in the system, and abuse or exploitation of children. The situational analysis of intercountry adoption has not been comprehensively documented in Africa, creating a vacuum on the status of the system in the continent. This calls for a proper inquiry into the subject, from a pan-African perspective. In view of that, ACPF has found it necessary to bring together experts and policy makers at a global level to ponder and reflect on intercountry adoption and the implications of the growing interest in adopting children from Africa. For more information click here.


The Fifth IPC Conference on 29 -30th May 2012, UN Conference Center Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 13 (Photograph by ACPF)


Conference Report

ALTERNATIVES TO INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION GOOD PRACTICES IN AFRICA Highlights from the 5th IPC conference report Domestic adoption is not an alien concept in every African country; however, in some countries national adoption procedures are more cumbersome than intercountry adoption processes. In countries where domestic adoption is not available or is uncommon, awareness campaigns should be launched. With regard to intercountry adoption in general, the principle of the best interests of the child is of paramount importance. In addition, the principle of subsidiarity is of great significance. Due to the fact that intercountry adoption is regarded as a measure of last resort both in the ACRWC (Article 24) and in the CRC (Article 21), there is a rightsbased argument for alternatives to intercountry adoption. Family preservation should be considered as ‘first resort’ and deserves special attention in all countries. In many parts of Africa various economic family strengthening programmes have been developed and launched. Good practices of family support pro14

grammes include the South African child Support Grant and the Safety-net Programme in ethiopia. However, poverty reduction alone cannot resolve all child protection issues and in conjunction with social protection systems, national child protection systems should be in place for children to benefit sufficiently. Besides family preservation, family reunification will lead to a significant reduction in the number of children who need alternative care and the importance of family reunification and reintegration programmes should be acknowledged. children should not be adopted at the height of an emergency, as this may curtail their chances of reunification with their families. Instead, time and effort should be dedicated to returning children to their families. There are, of course, limits to this process and questions that arise are: has every possible effort been made to locate a child’s family? How much time is reasonable? How do we assess the concept of ‘reasonable prospect of


reunification’? In all cases of separation or displacement of children, an adequate birth registration system is vital. An example of a good practice in this regard is the situation after the 2007-2008 post-election violence in Kenya. Through concerted efforts, more than 82% of separated children had been returned to their families by August 2009. With regard to community-based care, foster care and kinship care, good practices exist in a number of countries, including ethiopia, Kenya and malawi. it is noteworthy that in namibia permanent kinship care is embedded in the law. Institutionalisation of children has been documented as having a negative impact on their growth, development and capacity to form attachments and should therefore be avoided wherever possible. Depending on the type of residence and the specific situation of a child, institutional care may be employed on a temporary basis or in the process of family reunification. currently, institutional care is heavily overused as approximately 80 – 90% of children in residential care settings have at least one living parent. In spite of this, evidence indicates that the number of orphanages is on the increase, particularly in countries impacted by high poverty rates, conflict, HIV/

AIDS, displacement or a combination of these factors. In Zimbabwe, which has a high HIV prevalence rate, 24 new orphanages were built between 1996 and 2006, 80% of which were initiated by faith-based groups. It is therefore essential that faith-based organisations be engaged in de-institutionalisation processes. In liberia, the number of orphanages increased from 10 in 1989 to 121 in 1991 due to the war. However, in 2008 at least 117 orphanages still existed, of which more than half were unregistered and unmonitored. Rather than rely heavily on donors and external assistance, African governments should join forces, sharing regional experiences and implementing good practices from neighbouring countries.

NORTH AFRICAN EXPERIENCES

The MENA (Middle East and North Africa) countries have not ratified the hague convention, due to the fact that adoption is prohibited by law in these countries, with the exception of Tunisia. instead, the MENA countries provide for a form of alternative care known as kafalah, which is the commitment to voluntarily take care of the maintenance, education and protection of a minor, in the same way “as a father would do for his son”. 15


Advantages of kafalah are: - the preservation of a child’s blood lineage (adoption changes this) - children can carry the fourth surname of their new parents (important in social muslim traditions) - it provides for appropriate financial support and family-based care - it reduces the dependence on institutional care. Disadvantages of kafalah are: - it is a cumbersome process - the best interests of the child is not a central consideration - a child is not entitled to the same rights as biological children (most notably that of name and inheritance) - social stigma challenges the child’s full integration in the family and in society - the practical implementation of kafalah is beset by a tremendous gender bias. Gender discrimination affects the observation of children’s rights in Egypt. For instance, a man’s word is enough to declare a newborn as his child, whereas a mother cannot report the birth of her child without official proof of marriage, leading to births remaining unregistered. Furthermore, orfi 16

(unregistered) marriages subject women to immense social stigmatisation, whereas this is not the case for men. children born in orfi marriages have no rights and are virtually non-existent in the eyes of the law. The egypt child law no. 126/2008 provides a rights-based reformed legal framework to alleviate the plight of children without parental care. It focuses on prevention, protection and early intervention and contains a number of vital aspects and principles. Firstly, it forms an umbrella, guaranteeing as a minimum all rights enshrined in the CRC, its optional Protocols and other international human rights conventions. Secondly, children’s right to a family environment and care is embedded in the child law. In addition, the right to an identity and a nationality as well as the right to education are covered. The law also provides for three new child protection mechanisms, namely General child Protection committees at Governorate level, district Protection committees as well as a child helpline, a national, toll-free, 24-hour service. With regard to the implementation of the child law, a number of challenges remain. The best interests principle is not always the paramount consideration in all actions concerning children. For exa-


mple, the care for a child in need of alternative care can be sought after as a source of income. Inspection of alternative care settings is inadequate and there are no follow-up mechanisms in place. As the law is still relatively new, there is inadequate for: advocacy to raise awareness for its benefits; capacity building of all professionals dealing with vulnerable families and children; financial and human resources. due to the current political situation in Egypt, some of the legislative gains achieved are under threat.

ALTERNATIVES IN BURKINA FASO

In Burkina Faso children constitute 57% of the population; a considerable proportion of them live in precarious situations. Support is often obtained from the community and from funding agencies. Three main forms of alternative care are practised in Burkina faso, namely guardianship, care placements and intercountry adoption. There are numerous challenges relating to intercountry adoption, the principal being that procedures are lengthy and most people do not support this form of alternative care. When considering alternative care options for children, intercountry adoption is a measure of last resort.

The Government of Burkina faso promotes support for children in their country of origin. Therefore, an awareness campaign aimed at familiarising people with domestic adoption has been launched. furthermore, efforts are being made to support families through social protection programmes in order to ensure that vulnerable children are provided for within their own environment, thereby reducing the need for intercountry adoption.

POLICY MEASURES IN MALAWI

In Malawi, there are approximately 1.2 million orphaned children, 50% of which cases are due to HIV/ AIDS. The government has recently revised various legislative provisions in order to provide adequate safeguards for the protection of these children. In 2010, the Malawi Parliament passed the child care, Protection and Justice Act, no. 22 of 2010, which provides the overall legal framework for children in need of care and protection. The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare is in the process of developing implementation guidelines for the Act, aimed at improving access to justice for all children. Furthermore, government policies prescribe the promotion of community-based approaches for the care, protection and support of

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children. For instance, the orphans and other Vulnerable children Policy promotes formal and informal foster care by relatives and non-relatives. Intercountry adoption has become a reality in Malawi. The situation has led to the urgent review of the Adoption Act to avoid putting Malawian children at risk of trafficking and exploitation. Principles from the CRC and the hague convention have been domesticated in the new Adoption Act. The Ministry will also produce policy guidelines, regulations and procedures with regard to adoption which will protect and safeguard the best interests of children eligible for adoption. As stipulated by both the ACRWC and the CRC this policy considers adoption as a measure of last resort. The review process of the Adoption Act is nearing completion and its drafting was highly consultative. Through consultations it was observed that the term adoption is considered to be foreign by most Malawians who, due to cultural tendencies, do not readily ascribe to the notion of permanent severance of ties between a child and the biological parents and family. Most rural communities conceptualise adoption as a process whereby the adoptive family helps the biological parents by raising their child; when the child reaches adul-

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thood, the biological family may reclaim their rights over the child. Another outcome of the consultations was the fact that the majority of Malawians is not in favour of adoption agencies operating in their country because agencies are often associated with child trafficking. In order to reduce the need for intercountry adoption, Malawi has embarked on the promotion of child protection strategies that address the problems of poverty, social security, nutrition and health in order to fulfil the right to life, survival, growth, development and protection of all children. As part of this process, a Social cash transfer scheme has been implemented, providing support to the 10% of ultra-poor families, coupled with education and early childhood development. Read also:

INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION AS A MEASURE OF LAST RESORT IN AFRICA: ADVANCING THE RIGHTS OF A CHILD RATHER THAN A RIGHT TO A CHILD By Prof Benyam D. Mezmur Chairperson of the UNCRC, ViceChiar of the ACERWC


In countries where domestic adoption is not available or is uncommon, awareness campaigns should be launched.

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(Photograph by Keren Riley


News highlights

ETHIOPIA

bans foreign adoptions Ethiopia has banned the adoption of children by foreigners amid concerns they face abuse and neglect abroad.

Ethiopia is one of the biggest source countries for international adoptions by US citizens, accounting for about 20% of the total. Celebrities Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are among those who have adopted children from Ethiopia. However, in 2013, a US couple were convicted of killing an adopted Ethiopian girl. That case triggered a debate about foreign adoption, the BBC’s Emmanuel Igunza in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa says. The adoption process in Ethiopia has also faced serious questions with rights groups saying that 20

it was prone to abuse by human traffickers who saw it as lucrative market. Two years ago, Denmark stopped the adoption of children from Ethiopia. Lawmakers now say orphans and other vulnerable children should be cared for under locally available support mechanisms in order to protect them. But some MPs said that the country has insufficient local services to cater for vulnerable children. More than 15,000 Ethiopian children have been adopted in the US since 1999. Many are also taken to European countries such as Spain, France and Italy. What next for Ethiopia’s orphans? By Emmanuel Igunza, BBC Africa

Debate over foreign adoptions in Ethiopia has been rife since the 2013, so the country’s ban didn’t come as a major surprise. The question now is what will happen to the thousands of orphans and vulnerable children who can no longer be adopted? Parliament says the country’s social services should be able to


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(Photograph by Keren Riley


handle the numbers and more importantly local adoptions are still permitted. However, adoption is not a big part of Ethiopia’s culture and many orphans find themselves shuttled between relatives or on the streets. Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, but millions of people live in poverty. Although there is a fast growing safety net programme to cushion the poorest from the ravages of droughts, critics say the country simply doesn’t have the capacity to deal with the huge number of orphans. The coordinator of a children’s orphanage in Addis Ababa, who asked not to be named, said that they would find a way to look after the children in the country. «These are our children. We are already seeing many Ethiopians choosing to sponsor one child or two through their education and other needs.» «For now things are just up in the air,» she added. «But who knows, it might be reversed and these needy children will find families, here or abroad.» Source: BBC Africa 22

UGANDA

«Kids for sale: My mom was tricked» The 7-year-old girl, dressed in bright pink and holding one of her favorite stuffed animals, sees her mother for the first time in nearly a year. A brilliant smile spreads across Namata’s face, punctuating her excitement. She and her mother are speaking via Skype more than 7,400 miles apart. Namata, or Mata as she’s known, talks from the home of her adoptive parents in Ohio. Her mother watches via a laptop in Uganda, in a quiet spot away from her village. «Hello,» Mata says. «How are you doing?» Her mother laughs. She’s in awe


of laying eyes on the daughter she thought she’d lost forever. Mom holds a newborn, and Mata says she wants a closer look at her sister. Her mother stands and lifts the baby, cradling her over the computer screen. Mata beams, as does her adoptive mom, Jessica Davis. As the conversation continues, Mata wants answers. She wants to know why her mother gave her away. By the time the call ends, Mata’s radiant smile has turned to sobs. «My mom was tricked,» she says. «My mom was tricked.» Her mother told her it was never her intent to give Mata up for good -- that she’d been deceived. She had been told that Mata would be given a great educational opportunity if she was sent away but that she would one day return. That Mom would always be a part of her daughter’s life. It also confirmed a gut feeling: that something was amiss about the story the Ohio-based adoption agency had told Jessica and her husband, Adam, about Mata’s background. The agency, Euro-

pean Adoption Consultants, told them that Mata’s father had died and that her mother neglected her and couldn’t afford to feed her. The paperwork said Mata had never attended school. But in the months after she arrived in America, as Mata’s command of English improved, she spoke glowingly about her mother. How they cooked together, how they went to church together and how her mother walked with her to school. The Skype conversation, on August 29, 2016, confirmed Jessica’s suspicions. As she absorbed the news, Jessica realized that she didn’t participate in an adoption at all but had unwittingly «participated in taking a child from a loving family.» And she knew what she had to do: return Mata to her mother. ‘PULL THE WOOL OVER THEIR EYES’ The Davises shared their story exclusively with CNN, saying they believe that Ugandan children like Mata are being trafficked, with American families not knowing the real stories behind their adoptions. An investigation by CNN into this 23


alleged trafficking scheme found that children are being taken from their homes in Uganda on the promise of better schooling, placed into orphanages even though they aren’t orphans, and sold for as much as $15,000 each to unsuspecting American families. CNN’s investigation discovered that multiple families were duped this way. Keren Riley of Reunite, a grassroots organization that helps return trafficked children to their birth mothers, says facilitators on the ground prey on vulnerable moms, often widows, promising educational opportunities for their children. The traffickers, she says, can include police and lawyers, teachers and local leaders. Complicating matters, there is no word for «adoption» in the language many Ugandan villagers speak, Riley says, so mothers are easily deceived. «It’s easy to pull the wool over their eyes,» says Riley, who arranged the video reunion between Mata and her birth mother. Traffickers «know when somebody has lost a husband in a tragic way and is vulnerable and is not coping -- and then they get flagged.» That’s exactly what happened in

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Mata’s village, Riley says: A villager-turned-trafficker made a pitch at a local church and managed to get seven children into the adoption circuit, including Mata, who was sent to a place called God’s Mercy, about a four-hour drive away. That’s where the Davises met her: «She was at an orphanage. No toys. Bars on the windows,» Jessica said. According to an affidavit obtained by CNN, Mata’s mother ultimately told a Ugandan family court that she was grief-stricken after her husband died in a vehicle accident March 28, 2014, and was told about a way to get Mata a good education. «I had not realized that I had gone through a process to take away my parental rights completely,» the mother said in sworn testimony September 8, 2016. «I had all along thought and understood that the child was going to be educated and returned back to me.» But the original orphan referral form that sent Mata to God’s Mercy painted a different picture, saying the mother was «helpless» and «can’t provide basic needs of the child for better growth.» The referral form is dated October 21, 2014 -- exactly one week after


Mata’s home in Uganda; she was one of seven village children taken from their parents with the promise of better schooling. Photo: CNN

the Davises say they got a call from European Adoption Consultants telling them Mata was available for adoption. At the time of that call, the Davises now believe, Mata wasn’t an orphan at all but was still living at home with a mother who loved her. They believe she was pulled from her home and placed in the orphanage after the adoption agency found an American couple

-- buyers, in a sense -- with money to adopt a child. The Ugandan government would later determine that Mata’s mother had been deceived, with a Ugandan court finding that the referral form had been forged and wasn’t actually signed by Ugandan police. By Randi Kaye and Wayne Drash, Source: CNN 25


Don’t miss these

Publications

The first section deals with the context and magnitude of the issue of intercountry adoption in Africa; Section 2 focuses on some of the main international legal frameworks relevant for intercountry adoption;

The New Frontier for Intercountry Adoption Author: The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) Document Type: Report

The report provides an 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. This report is divided into five sections. 26

Section 3 addresses substantive issues such as principles, rights, and procedures, thereby highlighting the law and practice on intercountry adoption in Africa and providing an overview of the reality on the ground in the context of the practice; Section 4 , which complements Section 3, then offers a brief overview of some alternatives to intercountry adoption for which states, societies, families and other stakeholders should strive in order to realise children’s best interests in the context of care in Africa. Section 5 then sums up the report by offering a conclusion and some points on the way forward.


Intercountry Adoption: Policies, Practices, and Outcomes The Intercountry Adoption Debate: Dialogues Across Disciplines Author: Robert L. Ballard Document Type: Book

This edited volume introduces this complexity and gives voice to the many sides of the intercountry adoption debate - for, against, and the dimensions in between. Its 27 chapters feature a «who’s who» of intercountry adoption, including writings from top scholars in law, medicine and health, social work, anthropology, religion, sociology, and history, and perspectives from parents, policymakers, adoptees, and agency representatives. Adoption practitioners and professionals who live and breathe intercountry adoption on a daily basis offer first-hand experiences and viewpoints.

Author: Judith L. Gibbons Document Type: Book

Intercountry adoption represents a significant component of international migration; in recent years, up to 45,000 children have crossed borders annually as part of the intercountry adoption boom. Proponents have touted intercountry adoption as a natural intervention for promoting child welfare. However, in cases of fraud and economic incentives, intercountry adoption has been denounced as child trafficking. Containing 25 chapters covering the following five areas: policy and regulations; sending country perspectives; outcomes for intercountry adoptees; debate between a proponent and an abolitionist; and pragmatists’ guides for improving intercountry adoption practices, this book will be essential reading for social work practitioners and academics involved with intercountry adoption. 27


What’s New?

Events

Continental Conference on Access to Justice for Children in Africa When? May 8,9 & 10, 2018 | Where? UNCC, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The overall goal of the Conference is to take stock of the progress made towards achieving the protection of child rights in the context of access to justice and contribute towards further improvement of laws, policies, systems and proce28

dures in the justice system in Africa. In addition, a day will be dedicated to a Thematic Consultation on Children in Conflict with the Law, linked specifically to the United Nations Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty.


What’s New?

Launch of the New InfoHub Website Check out the New African Child Information Hub website!

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The African Child Information Hub About Us We are a one-stop shop of data and information on children in Africa launched in November 2006. The main objective of the InfoHub is to create a forum to facilitate the exchange of information, ideas and experiences on matters relating to children. The African Child E-Newsletter, published on a quarterly basis, serves as a platform for organisations and individuals wor-

king in the area of child rights and wellbeing to share and disseminate their research/publications, data, new developments and event announcements. The African Child Information Hub is an initiative of the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF), a pan-African institution of policy research and advocacy.

Visit our website:

www.africanchildinfo.net The African Child Information Hub

ACPF - @AfriChildForum

The African Child Information Hub Office Address : Off Bole Road, Behind Alem Building #2 Mailing :The African Child Policy Forum, P.O Box 1179, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Email :infohub@africanchildinfo.net Phone :+251116628192 /96/97/99 30


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NEWSLETTER | ISSUE No 33

March 2018

(Photograph by Living and Loving, South Africa)

Profile for africanchildinfo - InfoHub

InfoHub Newsletter Issue N.33 | Intercountry Adoption  

Transitioning from Intercountry Adoption

InfoHub Newsletter Issue N.33 | Intercountry Adoption  

Transitioning from Intercountry Adoption

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