Government to monitor children for year before allowing adoption

Monday October 17 2016

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo 

By Stephen Otage

The Ministry of labor and social development has said foreigners who wish to adopt Ugandan children are now required by law to look after them within the country for one year as government studies their motives.

In a telephone interview Monday, Maria Nakazibwe the probation officer Wakiso district said the requirement is part of the new measures spelt out in the 2016 Children Amendment Act to protect Ugandan children from exploitation as has been the case previously when foreigners would just walk into the country and get legal guardianship of children and take them out of the country.

“A Ugandan citizen can get legal guardianship of a child in Uganda but for a foreign guardian, they must foster the child for one year and keep writing the progress report every two weeks so that we know what they are doing,” she said.

Ms. Nakazibwe’s comments followed revelations by a Wakiso district based orphanage- Kids of Africa, which told journalists that the district hosts up to 140 illegal orphanages whose operations are not known to government.

Asked if it is true, Ms. Nakazibwe confirmed saying her office is only aware of three Orphanages that are certified. “We have SOS Villages, Nkumba dn Kakiri and Cherish Uganda which are registered with the Ministry of Gender and Social development, the rest are operating illegally,” she said.

Kids of Africa held a press conference in Kampala to unveil internet’s most popular stars Felix Laden and his manager Kati Kammler who have a Youtube following of over 3 million views and are in the country to pick up stories about the plight of children in Uganda.

Asked if this is not another strategy of making money off the plight of Ugandan children, Burkhard Varnhule, the founder of the orphanage said since inception in 2005, their orphanage is among those that government has commended because of the way they raise disadvantaged children.
“What we do is to get vulnerable children and give them an opportunity to grow up the way a child is supposed to. We give them all the opportunities a child requires and raise them to become future leaders,” he said.