When a family is granted either legal guardianship (LG) or adoption of a Ugandan child, within the Honorable Justice’s written orders are his or her expressed desire forpost-placement reporting. Details vary. Some state that reports are required yearly until the child reaches the age of 18, or specify some other frequency.
Why is it important that adoptive families file post-placement reports on their Ugandan child?
Without families regularly filing reports on their child with the High Court where the order was written, there is no way for the government of Uganda to know what ever happened to the minor after leaving the country or how the child is doing. This is a point of great concern and contention for many parties involved in the adoption process, since there are adopted children for whom the Courts have never received post placement reporting. Or, the Courts may receive an initial report on the child but not the reporting frequency specifically outlined in the child’s LG or adoption order. By failing to comply with the orders for post-placement reporting, families are:
- Breaking the law by not following orders set forth by the High Court that allowed this child to be placed in his/her family in the first place.
- Damaging the reputation of adoptive families at large by projecting an image of negligence and disrespect.
- Placing the process of international adoption/LG at risk for closure due to #2, and therefore jeopardizing the future of some children for whom international adoption may be the best or only option (i.e. children with special needs).
If reporting is so important, why aren’t the High Courts receiving the post-placement reports they have ordered?
These are common reasons cited as barriers to timely and accurate reporting by families:
- Confusion regarding whom exactly should receive the reports and to which location (i.e. Ugandan Embassy, High Court, Minister of Gender, etc).
- Barriers to finding a courier or responsible person to deliver the reports to the correct place and person in a timely fashion.
- Uncertainty about the contents of reporting desired by the High Court, including topics that should be covered and the format.
- Many families only have their former lawyer or orphanage contacts to depend upon for forwarding reports to the courts. For various reasons, these entities may or may not actually submit the reports on their behalf.
In collaboration with the High Court of Uganda, Child Advocacy Africa and A Child’s Voice endeavors to ensure that post-adoptive families have the resources needed to fully comply with their rulings from the High Court. Please click here for more information.