Ethiopian parliament has passed a law that bans the adoption of Ethiopian children by foreigners, a government spokesman and diplomats said on Wednesday
A spokesman for Ethiopia’s ministry of women, children and youth affairs confirmed the passing of the law on Tuesday without providing further details, but local media reports lauded the move claiming foreign adoptions have “opened a door for different crimes against minors.”
The development follows an April moratorium on foreign adoptions issued by Ethiopia’s government which led to the suspension of dozens of cases, including some of parents who had already completed the legal adoption process.
In 2013 an American couple were jailed for manslaughter for the death of their adoptive Ethiopian daughter two years earlier.
Foreign diplomats in Addis Ababa said they hoped adoptions currently underway would not be interrupted.
“We anticipate that the implementation of the policy change will be managed in a considerate and forthright manner and that families currently undertaking the adoption process are allowed to complete it in accordance with current policy,” said a US embassy spokesman.
Ethiopia is popular for foreign adoptions even though the process is costly and can take years. Celebrities such as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are among those who have adopted children from the east African nation.
According to embassy figures, the United States has adopted more than 5,500 Ethiopian children since 2011.
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