Ethiopia bans foreign adoptions

Ethiopia has banned the adoption of children by foreigners amid concerns children 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.

Two years ago, Denmark also controversially stopped the adoption of children from Ethiopia over what it said were concerns about possible human trafficking cases.

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.

Presentational grey line

Ethiopia’s international adoptions in numbers:

  • One in five international adoptions in the US from Ethiopia
  • 15,217 adoptions from Ethiopia to the US from 1999-2016
  • Families in Spain, France and Italy also adopt several hundred Ethiopian children each year

Source: US Department of State

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