Ethiopia’s Parliament voted Tuesday to ban all foreign adoptions of Ethiopian children, citing concern over abuse and neglect of the adoptees.
The decision follows several months where all adoptions had been suspended, NPR reports.
The new guidelines, as originally reported by the Associated Press, state that Ethiopian orphans should be raised in their home country, where they can honor their culture and traditions. “They should either be adopted locally or supported by a guardian family, tutor or help them to reunite with biological parents or relatives,” the law states.
The decision follows several high-profile cases of abuse, neglect and exploitation. As the New Republic and Mother Jones reported, a white evangelical fixation on adopting children from war-torn countries led adoption agencies to give up Ethiopian children for adoption who weren’t actually orphans. In these cases, agency workers would take children from their families to a different region of the country, where they claimed the children had been abandoned.