Guidelines for Action on Intercountry Adoption of Children in Africa

The African Child Policy Forum

The Guidelines for Action on Intercountry Adoption of Children in Africa was adopted at the Fifth International Policy Conference on the African Child held on 29-30 May 2012 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The objectives of the Guidelines are to facilitate and support the efforts of States to take all appropriate legal, administrative, and other measures to ensure that all persons and organizations involved in the adoption of a child act in conformity with applicable international legal instruments. Recommendations are set forth for central authorities and accredited bodies, accountability for violations, training, research and data collection, and international cooperation, monitoring and implementation methods.

These Guidelines apply to all procedures of an administrative, judicial, or other nature where children are or may be concerned in the context of intercountry adoption. The principles of the best interests of the child, right to non-discrimination, right to dignity, right to survival and development, and the right for a child to be heard are upheld in the Guidelines.

The Guidelines recommend that States should work towards creating and strengthening institutional structures relevant for intercountry adoption and violations of the present Guidelines should be able to attract some form of accountability within a State. It also urges that state should actively work towards offering continuing training for stakeholders and ensure, especially through civil, criminal, and administrative laws, that national and local accredited bodies and relevant civil society members establish and apply standards, indicators, tools, and systems of monitoring to fulfil their obligations and commitments to protect children from a violation of their rights in the context of intercountry adoption.