Q: From 1981-83 I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, West Africa. I recently contacted a friend who lives there to ask about adoption from Mali. It is my understanding that there is very little adoption from there to the US and that you can’t have any other dependents (adopted or biological). Are you familiar with why that would be the case? I thought I could possibly facilitate something for a friend since I was familiar with the country, customs and language.
A: Each country establishes the restrictions that they think will best insure qualified parents. I don’t know why a country would choose to only allows adoptions by families who have no children, but I can speculate. There have been rumors for years that wealthy families “adopt”children for to become servants or to harvest body parts. I suppose it seems more likely to cultures unfamiliar with adoption of a unrelated child that someone who already has children would be more likely to want a slave or a kidney. For countries which place few children, the best place to find current information on adoption is the State Department Adoption’s website Country Information page.
Image Credit: Geraint Rowland