From Guatemala to Ethiopia: Shifts in Intercountry Adoption Leaves Ethiopia Vulnerable for Child Sales and Other Unethical Practices
June 8, 2010
Karen Smith Rotabi, Richmond, Virginia (USA)
Excerpt, see full article: http://www.socmag.net/?p=615
"Ethiopia is estimated to have one of the largest populations of “orphaned” children in the world. Most recent statistics place that number at approximately five million (Ethiopian Ministry of Health, 2008). Caution must be taken when touting this number, though, as it includes both single and double orphans. This means that a large percentage of children included in this number actually have one living birth parent, thus placement in intercountry adoption might not be in their best interest, nor even appropriate to consider. In addition, the vast majority of these children are over the age of five and thus less considered less “adoptable” by those preferring an infant or toddler.
Unfortunately, Ethiopia has emerged as one of the most active “sending nations” in the world in 2009-2010 and the nation is not truly prepared. Problems regarding ensuring ethical practice in ICA will require careful consideration in the nation, specifically the prevention of child sales and theft. While there has been discussion about Ethiopia signing the Hague Convention, and in-country deliberations are taking place to assess what legal and systems changes are required for the Hague ratification to be possible, progress to date has been slow. A concern is that publicity about scandalous ICA practices might drive demand for reform rather than a more proactive or positive initiative that can be developed thoughtfully by the Ethiopian government. The question is, how long will it take and how many abuses of children’s rights will occur before appropriate action is taken?"Editor's Note:The Social Work & Society Online News Magazine (SocMag) is a free access online only magazine that aims at establishing a political and socially critical information platform for international news in the realm of all professional fields of social services as well as social movements and NGOs. It offers a broad presentation of news, social reports, essays, country notes and commentaries referring to contemporary and controversial debates.
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