France Suspends Child Adoptions from Madagascar

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In a decision announced by the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs on Sunday, the French government confirmed a suspension of child adoptions from Madagascar, a measure initially taken a year ago. At the time, Paris cited shortcomings on the part of Malagasy authorities regarding international adoptions, as revealed in a report by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.

In a report dated March 9, 2022, the UN body responsible for children’s rights called for guarantees from Malagasy authorities, urging them to raise awareness and “address the root causes” of illegal adoptions by assisting vulnerable families.

The United Nations report also highlighted legislative delays. In 2017, Madagascar passed a new adoption law. However, six years later, the implementing decree for this law has yet to be put into effect.

Faced with the ongoing inaction of the Antananarivo authorities, France aligns itself with the latest UN recommendations and solidifies its stance: there will be no further adoptions of Malagasy children.

Last year, the French government had already taken a first step by prohibiting individual adoption procedures, preventing French parents from directly approaching Malagasy orphanages without involving a public agency.

According to a civil society platform for children based in Antananarivo, illicit practices in Madagascar are not new, including child abduction, the creation of false orphans, and forced abandonment of newborns. These practices are organized by criminal networks to meet the demands of adoptive parents.

Soukaina Sghir

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