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Homosexuals barred from adopting children in Malawi

The Malawi’s Special Law Commission has barred homosexuals from adopting children, according to recommendations in the report released by the special commission which was entitled to review the Adoption of Children Act.

The report has put homosexuals among persons of unsound mind within the meaning of Mental Health Act, persons convicted of any offense set out in the schedule and a person who has been declared unsuitable or prohibited by a court of competent jurisdiction from working with children, as those prohibited to adopt.

Commissioner Aubrey Mvula justified the barring of homosexuals saying the body recognizes that he relationship of man and woman constitutes a marriage.

“We recognize the need to provide stable upbringing of the child and homosexuals are not proffered direction in adoption. We will not allow our children to be adopted by those practicing criminal acts in nature.

“A normal life is seen in a family that is stable, that is a union between a man and a woman as provided by the constitution,” said Mvula.

Adoption laws in Malawi were widely questioned by human rights activist when the Pop Star Madonna adopted David Banda and later Mercy James, in a battle which was determined by the country’s courts.

The Adoption of Children Act was enacted by the colonial masters in

1949 and had a lot of loopholes in it.

“Technologies of globalization such as internet and easier and faster movement of people across borders have fuelled the cross-transferring of ideas, cultures and social behaviours which have in turn have a great effect on traditional and conventional conceptualizations of the good and bad.

“As regards the bad, we as a country suddenly find ourselves faced with rising cases of child trafficking, child slavery and shopping from within and beyond Malawi,” he said.

The legislation has also bars a sole male applicant to adopt a female child likewise a sole female applicant to adopt a male child.

The legislation has also stiff penalties for flouting adoption regulations including a seven year jail sentence and K1 million fines for profiting from adoption.

One could be sentences three years in jail for holding back information from authorities and could also be ordered to a pay a fine of K500, 000.00.

The law also punishes advertisement of children for adoption by a prison sentence of seven years.

“Interfering with the child’s upbringing is punishable by a fine of K200, 000.00. Tampering of documents will attract a seven-year sentence,” Malawi’s special Law Commission chairperson Judge Esmie Chombo said of the punishments.

The Judge also disclosed that processing of inter-country adoption by any unauthorized agencies will attract a fine that will range from K500, 000 and K2 million.

The proposed law will go for a legal scrutiny at the ministry of justice before being presented to cabinet and then to parliament for approval.

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