Please be advised that the Ontario Ministry’s Private and International Adoption Unit will not issue licenses under the Intercountry Adoption Act for the purposes of authorizing an agency to facilitate adoptions from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
This decision is based on concerns raised within the international community dealing with intercountry adoptions. UNICEF, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Confederation of the Red Cross, and international NGOs such as the Save the Children Alliance and International Social Services advise that current socio-political conditions in the DRC raise serious questions about the legitimacy of a child’s adoptability and whether verification of consent can be relied upon.
Civil wars in the DRC have destabilized the region to such an extent that corruption, abductions, forced recruitments, violence against children and displacement of children have become a common occurrence. As a result, DRC authorities are not currently equipped to confirm the legitimacy of documents and verify consent to the degree that Ontario requires.
As a signatory to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Convention), Canada has committed to adhering to principles which support the protection of children and their families against the risk of illegal, irregular, premature or ill-prepared adoptions abroad. To do this, the Hague Convention puts safeguards in place to make sure that all intercountry adoptions are in the best interests of the child, respect human rights, and prevent the abduction, sale of, or trafficking of children.
Further to these concerns, on April 29, 2013 the Congolese Ministry of Interior and Security, General Direction of Migration (Direction Generale d’Immigration, DGM) informed the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa that the DGM has suspended the issuance of exit permits to adopted Congolese children seeking to depart the country with their adoptive parents. This suspension is due to an on-going investigation into an adoption that may not have complied with Congolese law. The suspension of exit permits for adopted Congolese children applies to all intercountry adoptions and is not limited to adoptions by U.S. citizens.
Given all the aforementioned, the Private and International Adoption Unit has determined that the DRC does not currently have sufficient processes in place to establish that a child is adoptable and that necessary consents have been properly obtained – two main principles of the Hague Convention. As such, intercountry adoption from the DRC is not permitted at this time.
Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.