Ethiopian lawmakers passed a resolution Tuesday that will ban foreign adoption of Ethiopian children amid concerns of mistreatment overseas.
The new measure was approved after a heated debate, as critics fear that the country does not have the resources, including child care centers, to handle the effects of the ban.
Ethiopia had been among the top countries for adoption in the United States, according to State Department figures. But following the death in the U.S. of an Ethiopian child at the hands of her adoptive mother in 2011, and another adopted child killed in the U.S. by her parents in 2013, Ethiopia vastly decreased foreign adoptions and increased debate surrounding the issue.
Ethiopia’s new National Child Policy states that orphans should only grow up in their homeland, learning their country’s traditions and culture.
“They should either be adopted locally or supported by a guardian family, tutor or help them to reunite with biological parents or relatives,” it says.
But many critics worry that child care centers will be overburdened, as there is not a widespread culture of adoption within Ethiopia.