Sierra Leone: Is it a School or Adoption Agency?

By: SEM Contributor on December 19, 2013.

The Law on Adoption in Sierra Leone is quite clear, and in line with various restrictions imposed by other countries in the interests of the children concerned, and their relevant culture. Significant in our case is the fact that it is not deemed appropriate for a single man to adopt, and if not a single man, presumably the question of two men acting as an adopting couple would be out of the question.

As Sierra Leone increases her contacts with the outside world, and a vibrant Diaspora, it is inevitable that prospective eligible adoptive parents living abroad should seek to adopt a child thus providing the prospects of a life overseas in a different country. In such cases, there is a requirement for the adopting parent to demonstrate an ability to look after the child in Sierra Leone for a period of six months prior to final permission being granted for emigration.

The question is, should a school be allowed to exercise such care on behalf of a prospective adopting parent from overseas? More importantly, should a divorced man acting in conjunction with a male work colleague living in London be able to adopt such a child? And because of this possibility, are we satisfied that we have sufficiently robust checks in place to prevent our laws being flouted in this respect in the ostensible name of providing a future for one of our unfortunate children?

These are not just idle hypothetical questions, but arise from a current case that is about to achieve fruition.. The implications of success in this case are quite fundamental, and far reaching in various respects. In the interests of our Laws, and the child involved we implore the Adoption Tribunal to conduct an immediate review of current cases, there can’t be many that would fit this alarm, in order to prevent a questionable precedence for our country.