Ethiopia Bans Foreign Adoptions In Effort To Prevent Child Abuse


Ethiopia's government has banned adoptions from foreign countries, citing concerns of child abuse and neglect. In 2016, Denmark banned adoptions from Ethiopia, claiming a lack of data on the origins of children adopted from the country could facilitate trafficking.

One of the most famous people to adopt a child from the poor East African nation was USA actress Angelina Jolie, who adopted her daughter Zahara in 2005.

Last May, US Department of State issued a statement relating to Ethiopia's suspension of adoptions urging its citizens to remain calm and follow the right channels concerning pending inter-country adoption in Ethiopia. They adopted their second daughter, Zahara, from an orphanage in Addis Ababa in 2005.

The legislation came about after reports of abuse and sometimes death of children adopted from Ethiopia by foreigners.

On Tuesday (9 January), the Ethiopian parliament approved legislation banning worldwide adoptions.

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The issue was thrust into the limelight in 2013 when USA couple Larry and Carri Williams were found guilty of starving and beating their adopted Ethiopian daughter to death.

But this practice was put under the spotlight after a United States couple were of convicted of manslaughter in the gruesome starvation and hypothermia death of a teenage girl they adopted from Ethiopia.

Hana Williams died in May 2011 in the backyard of the couple's home, where she was forced to stay as part of a strict system of child-rearing outlined in a Christian parenting book. Some other countries have also set up more stringent rules for the global adoption process.

Some Mps, however, raised concerns over insufficient services and resources to cater for such children.