Legal Question in Family Law in Italy


if an italian citizen wants to adotp in Ethiopia, following Ethiopa law, what can he /she do?

Does he/she need a permanent residence in that state? How the entire process works?

Thanks for help

Asked on 6/03/13, 9:29 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Giovanbattista Greco Avv. Giovanbattista Greco

Ethiopia is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption(Hague Adoption Convention).

Adoption is regulated by national law, that states the following requirements:

- Prospective adoptive parents can consist in a married coule (with or without children) or a single woman, provided that the age gap with the child must not exceed 40 years;

- Adoption of Ethiopian children is possible in the following cases:

Relinquishment: A relinquishment occurs between the biological parent(s) of the child and the orphanage, and is certified by the appropriate local government office responsible for women’s and children’s issues. The Contract of Adoption is signed between the child's legal guardian, usually the orphanage, and the adoptive parents or their agency representative. This contract is the basis for the issuance of the adoption decree, which shows that the guardian or the orphanage has relinquished their legal rights to the adopted child. The contract must be taken to the Inland Revenue Administration office to be stamped. There is a nominal fee of 5 Ethiopian birr for this service. In general, except in inter-family adoptions, relinquishment by a living biological parent directly to a prospective adoptive parent is not permitted under Ethiopian law.

Abandonment: When a child is abandoned, by law s/he comes into the custody of the Government of Ethiopia.

Age of Adoptive Child: A child must be under the age of 18 to be adopted under Ethiopian law.

Sibling Adoptions: The Government of Ethiopia has demonstrated a preference for keeping sibling orphans together, if possible.

Special Needs or Medical Conditions: Biological parents who are unable to provide adequate medical care for their children, either because of special needs, HIV/AIDS, or another medical condition, are permitted to relinquish their children under Ethiopian law, even if both parents are still alive. When a child is found to have two HIV/AIDS-infected parents, or one living HIV/AIDS-infected parent, and the living parent(s) are unable to provide ongoing care for the child, the Government of Ethiopia sometimes classifies the child as an orphan and facilitates the placement of the child in institutional care.

Waiting Period or Foster Care: Typically, the Government of Ethiopia requires that a child be resident in an orphanage for three months before being adopted.

The recommended first step in adopting a child from Ethiopia is to decide whether or not to use a licensed adoption service provider that can help you with your adoption.

You must submit an application to be found eligible to adopt to the local Ministry of Women, Children, and Youth Affairs, MOWCYA of Ethiopia. This is also called the "dossier".

MOWCYA reviews the documents for completeness and creates a dossier on the adoptive parent(s). The Claims and Authentication Section of the Protocol Office at the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Addis Ababa authenticates the dossier and returns it to the Children and Youth Affairs Office (CYAO) for approval.

If you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the central adoption authority or other authorized entity in Ethiopia will provide you with a referral. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of and provide a permanent home for a particular child.

Prospective adoptive parents have the option to either accept or refuse the referral.

In case they accept the referral, the dossier is transmitted to the Tribunal in Addis Abeba that is in charge of issuing a statement authorizing the adoption. Perspective parents must personally attend the hearing when their dossier is discussed.

Should you need further information or assistance, please write to [email protected] .

Read more
Answered on 10/06/13, 12:04 am

Related Questions & Answers

More Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Adoption questions and answers in Italy