UNICEF Condemns Liberia Failure To Address Inter-Country Adoption

October 21, 2016

Monrovia - The United Nations Children Fund and Holt International Children Fund have condemned Liberia for failing to address inter-country adoption, especially guidelines for international recognized practices relative to its adoption law.

This was released in a joint consultancy report commissioned by the two groups as outline by the convention of the Rights of Children and the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in respect to inter-country adoption.

Liberia had processed over 11,000 adoptions from 2005 to 2007 but the country law on adoption remains a challenge in meeting international best practices.

But the Deputy of Children and Social Protection at the Ministry of Gender, Social and Children Protection Lydia Mai Sherman said a constant review of the regulation and standard operating procedure of other domestic relations law would enable Liberia meet such standard.

In a conversation with FrontPage Africa Wednesday, Deputy Minister Sherman emphasized the need for stakeholders involved with adoption procedures across the country to get clearer understanding of the Hague Conventions, which will inform the country’s decision on its ratification.

According to her, getting a clearer understanding of each responsible government entities and roles will resolve challenges associated with collaboration and coordination amongst stakeholders as well as concerns on operation of unsanctioned adoptions agencies and orphanages which led to alleged trafficking of Liberian children.

The Deputy Gender, Social and Child Protection boss said massive campaign by adoptive parents in the USA against adoptions agencies about the negative impact and ill psychological wellbeing of their adoptive children had been launched in regards to international protocols on adoption.

She frowned at act of adoption that contravene international best practice saying, “adoptive parents withdrawing adoptions or placing children in foster homes or returning them to Liberia is a problem.”

Deputy Minister Sherman recognized the setting up of a committee responsible to work on plan that would speak to international standard of adoption since Liberia was yet to act in conformity with international law.

In October 2008, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf appointed the Adoption Committee to address issues pertaining to adoptions in Liberia both inter-country and domestics which consisted of the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Ministry of Gender Development, Ministry of Labor, Civil Society, Representative from the Adoptions Union,” Sherman sa

The Deputy Gender noted that a complete awareness, public education, using the CPN as a forum to discuss the issues of adoption internationally in various counties would give citizen an insight on adoption process and will help put Liberia on par with its international counterparts as enshrined in adoption committee work plan.

Sherman further noted that it would also give people a clue on the real meaning of adoptions and prohibits parents giving their children to others due to poverty.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister Sherman has frowned on adoptions agencies and orphanages for making parents to relinquish their rights illegally, relative to adoption.

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