Navigating the Adoption Process in Ghana: A Comprehensive Guide

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Adoption in Ghana is a legal process through which an individual can become the parent of a child who is not their biological offspring. In Ghana, the adoption process is governed by the Children’s Act, 1998 (Act 560) and the Children’s (Amendment) Act 2016, Act 937, which provide the regulatory requirements for adoption in the country.

The best interest of the child is paramount in matters of adoption, and it involves the transfer of all legal rights, duties, responsibilities, and liabilities from the biological parent or guardian to the adoptive parents. The adoption process in Ghana can be a rewarding and life-changing experience for both the child and adoptive parents.

However, it’s important to carefully consider all the legal, social, and cultural factors involved, and to work with experts to ensure that the adoption process is carried out safely, ethically, and in the child’s best interest.

Understanding the Adoption Process in Ghana

Adopting a child in Ghana is a significant decision that requires a thorough understanding of the legal, social, and cultural aspects of the adoption process. The adoption process in Ghana is regulated by the Children’s Act, 1998 (Act 560) and the Children’s (Amendment) Act 2016, Act 937, which set out the legal framework for adoption in the country.

These laws ensure that the best interest of the child is the primary consideration in all adoption matters.

The process involves several key steps, including eligibility and suitability assessments, training, approval, and post-adoption requirements.

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What Ages Are Considered As Children In Ghana

Adoption in Ghana

In Ghana, a person is considered to be a child until the age of 18. The minimum age for work is 15 years old, and light work is permitted from the age of 13, provided it does not endanger the health and development of the child. The Children’s Act of Ghana, Act 560, defines a child as a person under the age of 18. 

Eligibility and Suitability

Prospective adoptive parents in Ghana must meet certain eligibility requirements to be considered for adoption. These requirements include being between the ages of 25 and 55 years or 21 years older than the adoptable child, being habitually resident in Ghana, and not having been convicted of any crimes related to child abuse or neglect.

These are the requirements:

  • Birth Certificate(s)
  • Medical/Health Certificate (Form 9)
  • Police Clearance Report
  • Evidence of employment/income
  • Copy of National Identification
  • Spousal Consent (Form 12), if applicable
  • Two Reference Letters
  • Evidence of Training as prospective adoptive parent
  • Audio-Visual Recording or Pictures of Applicant, Applicant’s Home, and Family
  • Completed Statement Form from two Guardian ad Litem
  • In case of relative adoption, proof of fifth level of relationship with child
  • Evidence of Marriage, if applicable
  • Eligibility and suitability assessment
  • Home study report on the background and suitability of the applicant
  • Completion of a minimum of 30 hours of training in adoption-related topics
  • Approval of the home study report by the Central Authority or accredited adoption agency
  • Adoption order with the consent of both parents, unless one parent is unknown, has died, or cannot be found
  • Submission of five post-placement reports
  • Completion of post-adoption visits and reports as directed by the Ghanaian government
  • Being between the ages of 25 and 55 years or 21 years older than the adoptable child
  • Being habitually resident in Ghana
  • Not having been convicted of any crimes related to child abuse or neglect
  • Declaration of medical fitness
  • High moral character and proven integrity
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Training and Approval

Adoption in Ghana

Adoptive parents in Ghana are required to complete a minimum of 30 hours of training in adoption-related topics.

This training is designed to prepare prospective parents for the challenges and responsibilities of adoption and to ensure that they have the necessary knowledge and skills to support the child’s development and well-being.

Once the training is complete, the Central Authority or an accredited adoption agency submits the approval of the home study report to the Central Adoption Authority for review and consideration.

The approval of the home study report is a crucial step in the adoption process, as it demonstrates that the prospective parents have met the requirements to provide a loving and stable home for the child.

Types of Adoption in Ghana

In Ghana, there are two main types of adoption recognized by the law:

These are the types of adoption in Ghana:

  • In-Country Adoption (Local Adoption): This involves adopting a child by a person who is habitually resident in Ghana. It refers to the adoption process within Ghana, where a person permanently residing in the country seeks to adopt a child.
  • Intercountry Adoption: This type of adoption involves adopting a child from another country other than that in which the adoptive parent resides. It provides an option for individuals based on their residency and whether they seek to adopt a child from a different country.

Post-Adoption Requirements

After the adoption is finalized, adoptive parents in Ghana are required to fulfill certain post-adoption requirements. These requirements include the submission of five post-placement reports and the completion of post-adoption visits and reports as directed by the Ghanaian government.

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These post-adoption requirements are designed to monitor the well-being and adjustment of the adopted child in their new home and to provide support and guidance to the adoptive family as they navigate the joys and challenges of adoption.

Cultural and Social Factors in Adoption

Adoption in Ghana

In addition to the legal requirements, it is essential to consider the cultural and social factors that influence adoption in Ghana. The role of extended family members in the adoption process, the impact of traditional beliefs and practices on adoption, and the attitudes of Ghanaian society towards adoption are all critical aspects that can shape the adoption experience for both the child and the adoptive family. Understanding and respecting these cultural and social factors is essential for prospective adoptive parents to build positive and supportive relationships with the child’s birth family and the local community. Adoption in Ghana is a complex and multifaceted process that requires careful consideration and preparation.

By understanding the legal, social, and cultural aspects of adoption, prospective adoptive parents can make informed decisions and provide a loving and stable home for a child in need. It’s important to work with experienced professionals and organizations to navigate the adoption process and to ensure that the best interest of the child is always the primary consideration. With the right support and guidance, adoption in Ghana can be a fulfilling and transformative experience for both the child and the adoptive family.

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