The Liberian government says it is concerned about the high number of children adopted from the country in recent years and brought to the United States. The government also says it has discovered that some of the children have ended up either as prostitutes or working in menial labor. Information Minister Lawrence Bropleh told VOA the government wants to serve notice that Liberia is not a free-for-all country when it comes to adoption.
“What this country is trying to do now is to put in place a policy framework that would guide the adoption policy so that our children who become adopted and carried to other countries, whether the United States or anywhere else in the world and the parents who offer them up for adoption will have clear understanding as to what is going to happen. What we have discovered is that many of the parents who have offered their children for adoption do not understand that when someone adopts your child you are giving up your parental rights,” he said.
Bropleh said most of those doing the adopting are connected with organizations based principally in the United States and in Liberia.
“What the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare is telling us is that many of these organizations are not registered with the government. We do not know who is adopting our children, where they are taking them. And unfortunately we have learned with very saddened mind that many of our children end up in the United States and those who have asked for their adoption cannot maintain them after they have received them. And they are ending up as prostitutes, end in menial labor and in conditions that are not conducive for their future development,” Bropleh said.
He said the Liberian government has raised the issue with the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia concerning particularly one group that he said was taking between seven to 10 Liberian children out of the country to the United States.
“We wanted to make sure that those people had followed the right procedure. And that is why the cabinet has reviewed the policy with our minister of Health and Social Welfare to make sure that those who get adopted that they are going into the hands of those who care for them. For example in Liberia in one year’s time adopted 353 children that were taken out of this country. Ethiopia who has 77 million people was not able to adopt that many, only 23. Guinea that has more population than Liberia adopted one child in every four years. We want to make sure that people understand that Liberia is not a free-for-all when it comes to adoption,” Bropleh said.