Nana Oye Lithur interacting with Mahama Ayariga (right), Looking on is an official
Ghana will soon have a Central Adoption Authority, the Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur has announced.
According to her, the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection (MoGCSP) was in the process of finalizing the draft of the Adoption and Foster Care Regulations for Parliament, which would establish the Central Adoption Authority.
The authority, when established, would have the mandate of overseeing adoption processes instead of the numerous social welfare offices across the country.
During the Meet-the-press Series in Accra, Mrs. Lithur said the new regulation is not to deter people from adopting but protect the children.
She said that in about 1,300 adoptions in the country, 800 children were taken outside the country last year.
Mrs. Lithur said the ministry has also taken steps to enforce the laws on adoption in the country with the proposal for a review of the adoption process in Ghana and amendment to the Children’s Act, 1998 (Act 560).
‘We have placed a moratorium on child adoption in Ghana to address current challenges and protect adopted children and their foster parents,’ she stated.
Explaining the rationale behind the decision, Mrs. Lithur said it was in accordance with the Hague Convention, which seeks to prevent abduction and retention.
She further indicated that her outfit has ensured gender equality, promotion of the welfare and protection of children, the vulnerable, excluded and the aged, among other achievements.
‘They include reuniting 983 orphans with their extended families and the closure of 22 badly-run orphanages as a result of better supervision.
‘We have improved on our performance and made a meaningful impact on the people we serve,’ the minister said.
She also stated that a number of national policies relating to the protection of children had been finalized by her ministry.
‘We have developed Gender Analysis Framework and Planning Templates to guide the inclusion of gender issues in planning processes for poverty reduction and economic, agriculture and infrastructural development at the local level,’ she said.
However despite these, Mrs. Lithur said the lack of adequate personnel, funding and infrastructure was challenging.
‘Budgetary allocation is not commensurate with the expansion of the scope of the Ministry’s mandate,’ she said.
She called on stakeholders to support the ministry in its activities.
By Jamila A. Okertchiri and Sarah Jakubowski
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