Cameroon (Face2faceafrica) Cameroon has presented to the public the processes, steps, and conditions that are involved in child adoption in the west and central African country. The document, “Legal Procedural Manual on Child Adoption Chain,” was presented in the city of Yaoundé by Cameroon’s Minister of Social Affairs, Catherine Mbaka Mbock, recently. “This document has come to put some order and highlight the processes involved in child adopting in Cameroon, which hitherto was not the case. We are very sure that anyone who wants to adopt a child now, knows what and how to go about it,’’ Mbaka Mbock explained to Face2Face Africa.
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According to the document, a child in distress, delinquent, or abandoned has to be registered at the Secretariat of a social center within one day. Within 10 days, if nobody shows up or claims responsibility, the chief of the social center has the responsibility to compile another file of inquiry that is forwarded to a liaison staff.
This stage should take two days and the document concerning the child is then moved on to the Divisional Delegate, Regional Delegate, and then the Ministry of Social Affairs, where it is deposited to the Child Protection service, ensuring its final processing for a decision to be made.
Social protection of children’s rights fall within government’s responsibility and the presentation of this document aims at ensuring its appropriation and harmonious integration chain for improved traceability of children in distress.
By Cameroonian law, child adoption is recognized, but the way the process is carried out is problematic because some people have the belief that adopted children become slaves, while others believe that adoption is illegal.
Statistics of child adoption in Cameroon are not easy to come by since the Ministry of Justice, which is the arm in charge of ensuring the legality of the process, and the Ministry of Social Affairs seem to not have established a convergent point on the issue.
That notwithstanding, one Cameroonian had his say on the issue, “I believe that should any person want to adopt a child, they should go to the orphanage because it is easier there than somewhere else.”
Fears about child adoption in Africa — and especially in Cameroon — are on the rise since homosexuals want to adopt too. Consequently, another Cameroonian said, “One has to be very careful when adopting a child.”
In the locality of Batouri, found in the East Region of Cameroon, 1 in every 3 children was an adopted child, according to the Ministry of Social Affairs.