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General News Fri, 9 Mar 2018

Gender Ministry granted stay of execution; set to appeal against adoption of 4-year-old

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection is set to file an appeal against the adoption of a 4-year-old girl by an American Couple who tried leaving the country with the girl in 2017 when she was 3-years-old.

This follows the favourable ruling to an application filed by the Ministry for a stay of execution of an order by an Accra high court which granted the American couple the chance to travel with the child.

Speaking about the ruling, the minister, Otiko Afisa Djabah said it was a victory for Ghana as a nation adding that the ministry is focused on protecting the Ghanaian child.

“Ghana has won for child protection. When such issues arise, we should be patient enough to gather all the necessary information, so we can explain issues well to the public,” she said.

The Gender Ministry noted that the decision to file the application is to ensure that rightful statutory processes for adoption are followed to the letter.

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The rightful statutory processes for adoption aims at ensuring adopted children do not fall prey to abduction, sale and trafficking with undesirable consequences while also ensuring that parents are not deceived into parting with their children.

According to the ministry, the couple did not follow the laid down rules, raising suspicion of child trafficking hence the move to prevent them from travelling with the child.

The couple, Ethan Michael Ram and Hilary Holt Ram, secured a ruling by a Koforidua High Court in February 2017 to adopt the then 3-year-old child but denied the opportunity to travel with the child to the USA by the Gender Minister because the adoption did not go through the statutory processes.

Unhappy with the decision, the couple, through their lawyer, Daniel Opare Asiedu, proceeded to an Accra high court presided over by Justice Justin Kofi Dorgu, which ordered the Gender Minister and the Director of Social Welfare to release the child to the new parents.

Otiko Djaba subsequently filed for a stay of execution of that order, against the backdrop that it wanted to appeal the order – that application was granted the ministry on Thursday, 8th March 2018.

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Investigations into the adoption have been completed and the ministry is finalising plans to file the appeal against the adoption.

The child’s father who surfaced recently has revealed that he was not aware of the adoption since his wife left their matrimonial home at a time he was seriously ill.

The mother of the child who is reported to have died in December 2017 is on record to have given three of her children including twins for adoption after she was given some undisclosed amounts of money.

The ministry has further noted that the documents purported to have been used for the adoption were all forged.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com