THE MINISTRY of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) has suspended child adoption to enable it to deal with challenges associated with the adoption process in the country.
The initiative is also to protect adopted children and their foster parents.
In view of that, the Ministry has commenced a review of the adoption processes to establish a Central Adoption Authority in line with mandated international regulation and obligations.
Nana Oye Lithur, the Sector Minister, explained that the new adoption policy would do away with the current system which allowed people to adopt children in all the regions of the country and take them outside the country without proper coordination.
Taking her turn at the meet-the-press series in Accra on Tuesday, Mrs Lithur said the Ministry is therefore proposing an amendment to the Children’s Act, 1998 (Act 560) and finalising the draft Adoption and Foster Care Regulations for Parliament.
She said the Ministry’ as it is now, is a merger of the then Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs (MOWAC) with the Department of Social Welfare (DSW), National Council on Persons with Disability (NCPD) and the Social Protection Division of the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare (MESW) established by an Executive Instrument in 2013.
Consequently the new MoGCSP has assumed a new and expanded mandate to ensure gender equality, promote the welfare and protection of children, and to empower the vulnerable, aged and persons with disabilities, for sustainable national development.
She explained that its policies are guided by the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA) and the Sector Medium-Term Plan (SMTP) 2010-1013, adding that, in 2013 and the first half of 2014, the Ministry made some remarkable achievements in the implementation of its programmes.
These achievement include drafting and validating the Comprehensive Restructuring Plan and Performance Management Framework to reflect its new and expanded mandate, which also aim at enhancing performance and service delivery at all levels, commissioning the development of institutional restructuring and the Human Resources Policy to enhance performance delivery of the new Ministry, as well as drafting a National Gender Policy to address Gender Equality, Equity and Empowerment of Women for National Development, among others.
Mrs Lithur said the Ministry had also commissioned the development of the Justice for Children Policy and inaugurated an Advisory Committee to guide the process while the framework for the policy had already been drafted.
A review of the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Policy to improve ECCD services for children aged 0-8 years has also commenced while a campaign against violence and abuse against children with specific focus on early and forced marriage, cyber safety, corporal punishment, and gender-based violence in schools has been commenced.
In the area of Children’s Rights Promotion, Protection and Development, the Ministry has finalised the National Child and Family Welfare Policy to ensure the holistic protection and welfare of the Ghanaian child within a functional family welfare system.
Also stakeholder consultations have been held nationwide to obtain community input from over 7,000 Ghanaians from all walks of life, and to galvanize public support for the policy.
Mrs Lithur said the Ministry also launched the Women’s Summit on International Women’s Day, which provides a platform to recognise women’s contribution to Ghana, promote gender equality and celebrate the country’s progress.
The summit brought together female parliamentarians, ambassadors, ministers, ladies of the clergy, chiefs and queenmothers, women in academia and in the corporate and business fields, market women, students, public servants and civil society organisations.