Monday, November 05, 2007

Republic of Congo Suspends International Adoption

In the early days following the Chad scandal, the Republic of Congo has suspended all international adoptions in a move it calls a preventative measure. The Congolese minister in charge of justice and human rights, Aime Emmanuel Yoka, noted that Spanish citizens were crew members of the plane chartered by Zoe’s Ark, and that 17 Congolese children had been adopted by Spanish nationals since he took office in 2007. Yoka said:
“This doesn’t mean I am calling adoption into question; this is an institution
fixed by family law in Congo. I have a responsibility to ensure that in any case
only the interests of the adoptee are taken into consideration in the adoption

Yoka said that the Republic of Congo is checking into the welfare of the Congolese children who currently are in Spain by writing to the foreign minister inquiring about what has happened to these children.

Roger Bouka Owoko, the executive director of a human rights group in Congo, L’Observatoire Congolaise des Droits de l’Homme, commented that there is a lot of complicity and bungling in international adoption where adoption procedures often are not followed.

Marie-Claude Arnauld, a representative of a French adoption association, Childhood and Adoptive Families, expressed concern about the decision to suspend adoptions because some families are well into the process of adopting: “These families already know the children, and have their photos and details about them. For these families it’s going to be a tragedy.”


Anger at Chad ‘abduction’ fiasco may shut door on Africa adoptions, TimesOnline, November 3, 2007

Chad Arrests Prompt Suspension of International Child Adoption, UN Integrated Regional Information Networks,, November 1, 2007

Republic of Congo suspends international adoptions following Chad scandal, International Herald Tribune, November 1, 2007

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