Politics and Adoption in Africa


Burkina Faso2_credit neededIn the same week that we opened our Burkina Faso international adoption program, Burkina Faso’s President, Blaise Compaoré, was overthrown after a twenty-seven year long rule. Outraged protesters took to the streets after learning that Compaoré intended to make changes to the Burkina Faso constitution to allow him to extend his twenty-seven year rule.

In a show of our times, protesting civilians, including students, journalists and politicians took to social media, such as Twitter, furthering their cause to achieve worldwide online support and dubbed the protests as “Revolution 2.0.” Massive online support and interest followed drawing worldwide focus to this small African nation and its protesting civilians. Images posted on Twitter and Instagram showed streets flooded with rioting protestors. Massive street protests with continuous real time coverage ended with a cell phone video of ousted President Compaoré fleeing the country to the Ivory Coast.

So how does this affect international adoption in Burkina Faso? Generally, political situations in countries affect international adoption to some degree; it may freeze or delay the process for some families or it may change the policy and acceptance of international adoption in a country with changing politics and political leaders. However, we have not seen this to be the case in Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso ratified the The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption in 2006. In fact, Europeans have been adopting successfully from Burkina Faso for several years.

Hague Convention countries, such as Burkina Faso, offer adoptive families a better degree of protection against changing laws or interruptions in international adoptions at the whim of political leaders. Burkinabe leaders recognize that children in their country have the basic human right of being raised in a family and provided love, structure, education and a future. The best interests of children should always be paramount and at the forefront. Burkina Faso continues to show their dedication to providing orphaned children in need with forever families through an ethical international adoption process.

If you are interested in adopting from Africa and looking to adopt where there is a great need, Burkina Faso is an option families should consider. Burkina Faso provides families the option to adopt from Africa while having the assurance of an ethical and stable adoption process from a country that is a party to the Hague Convention.

Photo Credit: DFID- UK Department for International Development

Sonja Brown works as the International Program Director for MLJ Adoptions’ programs in Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti and Samoa. Sonja is also proud to work directly with our Individualized Country Program families who are adopting from countries where no adoption service providers currently operate.