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Last updated at 18:29 BST, Thursday, 31 May 2012

African child adoptions


31 May 2012

Child welfare experts say the number of international adoptions of children from African countries has risen dramatically in recent years. In a new report, the African Child Policy Forum says adoptions by people in the United States and other countries have tripled in the past eight years.


Mary Harper

An African orphan

The number of adoptions from African countries has greatly increased


Click to hear the report


The African Child Policy Forum says more than 41,000 African children have been sent overseas for adoption in the past eight years. Most go to the United States, others to Western Europe and Canada. The situation is especially dramatic in Ethiopia which, the report says, now sends more children abroad for adoption than any other country, apart from China.

One reason for the increase in adoption from Africa is that it is more difficult to adopt children from countries in South America and Eastern Europe because many have limited or shut down overseas adoption programmes. As a result, the report says, countries such as the United States have turned en masse to Africa to find children to adopt.

The African Child Policy Forum insists every child has the right to be reared in the country in which it was born, an opinion shared by Mr Bekele of the Abebech Gobena orphanage [in Ethiopia]: "We prefer local adoption to international adoption because the children will not be uprooted from their culture, from their people, and they will not forget their country or their language."


Click to hear the vocabulary



to a foreign country


extraordinary, remarkable


out of the country

apart from

except for



shut down


en masse

all at once


brought up, raised


home that cares for children with no parents


displaced, taken out