International Adoption from an African Perspective
Publisher: Intersentia Publishers
Country of Publication: Belgium
Price: Publication Abandoned
Although it may seem ironic that a policy affecting so few children should engage so much political and social attention, the symbolic significance of inter-country adoption far outweighs its practical import. This fact is partly demonstrated by the polarised views on inter-country adoption, and opinions continue to be divided over the necessity and propriety of the practice.
African children are – sparked by celebrity adoptions (the adoptions of Angelina Jolie and Madonna) – attracting an increasing attention from prospective adoptive parents living in other parts of the world. While the number of inter-country adoptions from African countries is still quite modest compared to adoptions from the top four countries of origin, there are concrete reasons to believe that interest in adoption from African countries will continue to increase. It is however highly questionable whether the African continent is equipped to provide its children with the necessary safeguards in this respect.
The central thesis of this study is to explore how the best interests of the African child can be upheld in inter-country adoption. This central research question is broken down into a number of related research questions, such as:
- Does the African context present any peculiar situations that are relevant to inter-country adoption?
- Does the African Children’s Charter (ACRWC) add any value to the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in addressing African realities relevant for inter-country adoption?
- What are some of the challenges, lessons, and opportunities for the regulation of inter-country adoption on the African continent?
The book concentrates on five themes. They are the African context; the international legal framework; adoptability; the principle of subsidiarity; and illicit activities in respect of inter-country adoption. It is argued that context matters, and that there are historical, cultural, social, religious, and legal contexts are relevant to inter-country adoption in Africa. Since human rights issues are at the core of the current debate on inter-country adoption, international children’s rights law is another crucial aspect in the discussion. The experience from a selected number of African countries is used to identify the role of various stakeholders for the promotion and protection of children’s rights in Africa in respect of inter-country adoption. From these studies, it is concluded that as a predominantly sending continent, Africa’s views on inter-country adoption should be taken into account, if a socially and legally sound, and child-centred, inter-country adoption regime is to be formed.