The Ethiopian government has approved legislation banning adoptions by foreigners, citing concerns that vulnerable children face abuse and neglect when adopted abroad. The move follows Ethiopia’s suspension of intercountry adoptions last April.
In support of the decision, Ethiopian lawmakers argued that children should remain in Ethiopia under the care of local systems, though there are concerns that local services will be insufficient to meet the needs of orphans and other vulnerable children.
There have also been concerns about the Ethiopian adoption process itself. In 2016, Denmark banned the adoption of children from Ethiopia due to concerns about possible human trafficking and “inconsistent information” provided by local adoption agencies, according to The Independent.
Once a popular destination for hopeful adoptive parents in the U.S. and other countries, Ethiopia now joins the growing list of countries issuing international adoption bans, highlighting the risks inherent in intercountry adoptions. Parents interested in adopting abroad are encouraged to do diligent research and evaluate the stability of each country’s adoption process before proceeding.
Families with pending Ethiopian adoption cases should direct questions to their Adoption Service Provider. Continue to monitor adoption.state.gov for updated information.