KIGALI - Plans are underway to set up a national adoption centre that will help families wanting to adopt children to do so through a proper legal procedures.
Appearing before parliament on Tuesday, the Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Dr. Jean D’Arc Mujawariya, revealed that her ministry will soon be handing over the legal and social responsibilities to the centre.
“We are currently in the process of setting up an adoption centre that will handle all child adoption details, including the legal procedure,” she said.
“This centre will be in charge and responsible for these children and shall be queried about anything pertaining to their welfare.”
Mujawamariya said that though the government policy is to incorporate all orphans into families, there were still challenges.
“Families are still hesitate to receive these children. In fact, we have resorted to talking to churches to preach the gospel of adoption, but I must assure you, that the progress is still very minimal,” she said
Lawmaker Aimable Nibishaka said that the issue of children in orphanages was still complex.
“Everyone talks about taking these children into families, but we need to be aware that some of these children are taken to use as housemaids,” he said
Nibishaka challenged his colleagues on the issue of adoption posing a question that most had avoided the whole afternoon.
“How many of us have picked a child from the orphanage? Is it because we really have low capacity to take care of a child? This is a complex issue,” he said
MP Mukama Abbas, challenged Mujawamariya to explain why there were still many children in orphanages and on the streets.
“The government policy is to incorporate children from orphanages into families. That is the government stand. What I want the Minister to tell us is whether the policy has failed so that we can look for alternatives. We need to get out of this confusion,” he said
Mujawamariya explained that the policy was mainly based on advocacy and the government is doing everything possible to see that all orphanages are eventually phased out.