Denmark will stop adoptions from Ethiopia

Social Security and Interior Minister Karen Ellemann suspends adoption services from Ethiopia to stop cooperating. The decision follows the recommendation of the Appeals Board, which has just been on a supervision travel in the country.

Social Security and Interior Minister Karen Ellemann says:

“I can not see that it is possible to continue cooperation with Ethiopia on international adoption. I no longer have the necessary confidence that adoptions from the country meet the demands we make in relation to the adoption process and thus that adoption is the best for the children. ”
Karen Ellemann

The Appeals Board has today informed the Minister about the worrying situation in relation to the treatment of the adoption process in Ethiopia. There has for many years been an intensified supervision of Ethiopia. The Danish adoption authorities have carried out several inspection trips to the country and has repeatedly increased the requirements and conditions. The development and the individual cases are followed closely by Danish authorities – including the initiatives for reforms and changes that the country has taken to strengthen the adoption system. The Board’s oversight travel to the country in February, however, has made it clear that the necessary reforms will not happen fast enough.

Social Security and Interior Minister Karen Ellemann says further:

“We have long followed developments in Ethiopia and in different ways sharpened our handling of cases to strengthen security. Now it appears extremely doubtful that Ethiopia is heading in the right direction, and the Ethiopian authorities say themselves that the various measures actually have had a limited effect. Therefore Denmark pulls out from cooperation with Ethiopia on adoption. We can not sit back with an uncertainty about whether anything other than considerations of their best controls of adoptions. ”
Karen Ellemann

The decision to suspend the provision means that Danish International Adoption (DIA) now may not register any more applicants on the waiting list for Ethiopia and the DIA should not receive new Ethiopian children in suggestions from their Ethiopian partners. The cases where a child is proposed for a specific family, will continue with additional control from the Board’s side.

Dissemination of international adoption are handled by the Danish intermediary organization Danish International Adoption (DIA). The Appeals Board oversees the organization and the adoption field as such. In 2015 some 100 children came to Denmark through international adoption, among which were 7 children from Ethiopia. In January 2016, a new Adoption Act entered into force. The Act is an implementation of the political agreement of October 2014 on a new adoption system, which among other things, foresees stronger surveillance in the field of adoption.