The aim of this project is to encourage the ratification of the HCIA by more African countries as a protective measure for vulnerable African children in the process of intercountry adoption.

Tracy Lelei

PhD Title:
Intercountry Adoption: The African Perspective And The Hague Convention On Protection Of Children And Co-Operation In Respect Of Intercountry Adoption 1993

Africa is the new frontier for intercountry adoption. This situation has brought with it not just the blessing of orphaned or homeless children finding families again, but also, illicit practices and abuses such as abduction, child trafficking and the outright sale of children. The rapid growth of intercountry adoption is alarming for a continent (Africa) that is barely prepared economically, socio-culturally, politically, administratively and otherwise for this evolution.

The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption 1993 (hereafter, the HCIA) is the most elaborate regulatory treaty on intercountry adoption. This treaty lays down safeguards that guarantee the best interest of the child and the protection of his/her fundamental rights where intercountry adoption takes place, through a system of inter-country co-operation. Unfortunately, only 14 African countries have acceded to or ratified this treaty.

The aim of this project is to encourage the ratification of the HCIA by more African countries as a protective measure for vulnerable African children in the process of intercountry adoption; by identifying and highlighting the theoretical and practical reasons that account for African countries reluctance to be Parties to the HCIA; the difficulties that States Parties to the HCIA from the African continent face in its implementation; and proffering solutions to resolve these challenges.