By Cecil Mensah
The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, says its moratorium on the adoption of children whose parents cannot be traced is still in full force.
According to the Ministry, even though the ban has not been lifted; special dispensations have been created for three categories of adoption in the country namely medical needs, special needs and Embassy requirements and support
The ban in force came to the fore, when the two Deputy Ministers, Mr Alexander Ackon and Mrs Dela Sowah all Members of Parliament (MPs) briefed the media on the recent expose by ace investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas on the Countryside Children’s Welfare Home at Bawjiase in the Central Region.
On the measures put in place on the findings of the expose, Mr Ackom said government has been collaborating Anas since December 2014 when the issues were brought to its notice.
He condemned the inhumane treatment meted out to the children by the husband and wife owners of the orphanage and school.
He maintained that the findings of the expose are premise on the following six areas: sale of donated items meant for children at the orphanage, according to the findings the founder of the home Madam Emma Boafo has been profiting from the sale of items donated to the home.
The abuse and neglect of children, and the video shows school children being physically abused or caned by one or two teachers at the home’s school.
The rest are poor feeding, sometimes children are asked to fast, lack of proper healthcare and high rate of pregnancy and abortion among the children.
He said as per the Children’s Act, the best interest of the child is promoted by the Ministry hence need to relocate the children to a safe haven.
He said following the expose, a three member committee was set up with the mandate for the removal of the children to a more conducive environment.
He gave their names as Mrs Comfort Asare, Deputy Director of Department of Social Welfare, Alexis Dery, representing Civil Society Organizations and Mr Alois Mohl, Assistant Director of Department of Social Welfare.
He said the Ministry has briefed the Attorney-General and the Inspector-General of police who has also detailed Miss Lawrencia Akorli to be part of the committee to ensure the perpetrators are brought to book.
He noted that as part of the measures, the committee identified two homes as safe haven for the children and in all forty one children were removed and have undergone profiling to find their family members.
He gave the break drown of their ages as 0 to five children( five), six to ten (eight) , eleven to fifteen (thirteen), sixteen to twenty (thirteen) and twenty and over (one).
The children were removed from the orphan department, day and boarding school departments of the home.