Ethiopia's parliament has passed legislation banning intercountry adoption.
NCFA's Ryan Hanlon joined BBC World Service Radio to discuss how this decision places unparented children at risk. NCFA believes that a global child welfare continuum should prioritize reunification, kinship adoption/guardianship, and in-country domestic adoption options, all before intercountry adoption is considered. Unfortunately, Ethiopia's reunification and kinship placement efforts are limited, and there are not enough Ethiopian adoptive homes available to meet the needs of thousands of unparented children. This ban will leave them to languish in long-term institutional care or life on the streets, and many with special needs face death.
Since 1999, more than 15,000 Ethiopian children have been adopted by American families. Adoption has given them a chance to thrive, despite unfathomable trauma and loss at a young age. In recent years, the global community has taken great strides to improve the safety and transparency of intercountry adoption, and diplomacy and dialogue is leading to stronger safeguards against corruption, exploitation, and abuse. We know this to be true; we’re part of that diplomacy in action. Every year NCFA meets with international child welfare leaders who are vigilantly and passionately committed to the children in their nations who need safe, loving homes. Children deserve families, and Ethiopia's children deserve better. We will continue to advocate on their behalf. You can join us. Start by listening to our interview with BBC Radio here.