Ethiopia Bans Foreign Adoptions

Ethiopian lawmakers have approved a ban on foreign adoptions due to concerns that the children face mistreatment in foreign countries.

Ethiopia had been one of the biggest source countries for international adoptions by American citizens, making up 20% of total international US adoptions.

Celebrities Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie adopted their daughter, Zahara, from Ethiopia in 2005 when she was six months old.

In 2011, an Ethiopian child was starved to death by her adoptive parents in the US. Following their conviction in 2013, there was an outcry, leading to Ethiopia reducing foreign adoptions by 90% that year.

The new National Child Policy was hotly debated in parliament, as many lawmakers feel that Ethiopia does not have enough orphanages to handle the effects of the ban.

The new policy states that orphans need to grow up in their homeland, while honouring their culture and traditions.

“They should either be adopted locally or supported by a guardian family or tutor, or helped to reunite with biological parents or relatives,” it says.

Image: Angelina Jolie with her child Zahara [online image] (2017) sourced on 11 January 2018 from