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Sur - Revista Internacional de Direitos Humanos

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MEZMUR, Benyam D.. Intercountry adoption as a measure of last resort in Africa: advancing the rights of a child rather than a right to a child. Sur [online]. 2008, vol.4Selected edition, pp. 0-0. ISSN 1806-6445.

The increased popularity of intercountry adoption is not anything recent. What is recent, however, is the increased attention African children are attracting from prospective adoptive parents living in other parts of the world, as exemplified by the adoptions by Angelina Jolie and Madonna. Opinions are divided over the necessity and propriety of intercountry adoption, but considering the practice as a panacea for children without parents and parents without children is a prevalent view. On the other hand, some sending states have resisted placing Third World children deprived of their family environment in homes outside of their native countries - a purportedly "imperialistic" practice. The operative language that has emerged in recent times has been that intercountry adoption should be used as a measure of last resort, but one can hardly find any research on what it actually means (or should mean), and what its implications are for child welfare policy and law in Africa. This paper intends to contribute to filling this gap.

Keywords : Intercountry Adoption; Principle of Subsidiarity; Last Resort Measure; Rights of Children; Africa.

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