The Adoption Service Providers of Liberia with funding from the Christian Adoption Service on Wednesday, June 24th 2009 held a one-day adoption forum at the conference room of the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) in Congo Town.
According to the organizer, the forum was intended to provide better education on adoption and allay the negative notion that adoption is child trafficking.
Speaking at the awareness forum, the head of the Addy’s Hope Adoption group
Amos Kodou, appealed to the Unity Party led government to lift the suspension on adoption.
He said the suspension placed on adoption has created gap in their operation as adoption agencies in the country, adding that during the President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf annual massage, she promised to look into the issue of adoption, but wondered that since the pronouncement nothing has been done to lift the suspension.
Mr. Amos Kodou said that the adoption program in the country has brought opportunities and will create better future for those who are benefiting. He added that those who consider adoption as trafficking are only saying so due to the lack of education of the program.
It can be recalled that the government of Liberia through the Health and Social Welfare Ministry suspended adoption activities in the country on grounds that some mechanisms needed to be put into place.
Mr. Kodou further said the suspension of the adoption in the country will deny many children the golden opportunity that may not come their anymore.
Amos Kodou who claimed that his two children are currently benefiting from the program pointed out that he talked to his children as often as possible.
He noted “it is better that the children are adopted to get better education and be prepared to face the challenges and they can come home to contribute their professional strength to mama Liberia.”
Also speaking, the Head of Acres of Hope Patty Angeline appealed to the female- led government to see reason to lift the suspension to afford children the chance to get training outside of Liberia. He added that there many children selling in street corners of the city, noting “is better that they are adopted to live in homes where they will have access to better education, good health facilitates and loving family.”
Speaking at the forum, the program coordinator of the Christian Adoption Services Ms. Angel Rutledge stressed that apart from adoption, service providers were involved in a host of other humanitarian and development programs that usually go unnoticed.
She described adoption as an opportunity for those who have got no chance of survival locally.
she said they as adoption service providers are willing to cooperate with the government in ensuring that appropriate policies and laws are placed on the book and implemented to safeguard the children of Liberia.
She challenged the Liberian media to assist in educating the population about adoption to disabuse their minds of the wrong perception.
Madam Rutledge expressed thanks to the Liberian government for the level of interest they have shown in protecting the children of Liberia by halting the process, but urged that the government should speedily investigate and lift the suspension.
At the forum members and agencies of the adoption service providers recounted the many development and humanitarian programs they have been and continue to be involved with.
The projects range from schools and hand pump construction, donation of medical supplies and equipment, provision of educational assistance including scholarships, sponsorship amongst others.
The forum was attended by cross section of individuals and institutions, prominent individuals including prelates, lawmakers, amongst others.