INTRODUCTION TO CHILD ADOPTION IN CAMEROON
The procedure for Child adoption in Cameroon will ensure the total transfer of all rights and duties of natural parents to the adopter. God’s desire for every legally married couple is to bless them with children of their own and in a case of childlessness, people are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to get a child of their own. Child adoption in Cameroon remains the only legal means for married couples who can’t procreate to have children of their own. However, Child adoption in Cameroon can also be done just to better a child’s future. Adoption in Cameroon is a legal procedure in which the parental responsibility for a child is transferred from the birth parent to their adopters.
An adoption order made in respect of a child confers on the child full member rights and privileges as if they had been born to the adoptive family. An applicant for adoption in Cameroon must have attained 40 years or been married for more than 10 years or have fertility issues that must be backed by medical evidence. A single parent can also adopt. A family law solicitor ensures that the entire child adoption procedure adheres strictly to: Sections 41 & 42 of the civil Status Registration Ordinance No 80-02 of 29/06/1981, Section 18(1)(b) of Law No 2006/015 of 29/12/06, Section 10 of the Southern Cameroons High Court Law 1955 and Section 47(2) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002.
INTERCOUNTRY RELATIVE PROCEDURE FOR CHILD ADOPTION IN CAMEROON
This refers to an adoption process in which the applicant is a Cameroonian irrespective of their residence and usually targets the adoptive child from the family genealogy. A family solicitor is expected to elicit relevant information from the prospective adoptive parents, the child to be adopted, and the biological parents of the child, and further request the following documents:
- Copy of marriage certificate
- Copy of the birth certificate of the applicant and the child
- Copy of consent letter under oath from the biological parents
- Copy of the medical certificate of the applicant and the child
- Copy of morality report of the child
- Copy of non-conviction of applicant
- Full photographs and a passport-size photo
- Copy of bank statement from applicant
- The lease agreement of the adoptive parents to guarantee accommodation space for the child
- Social inquiry report of the child from the ministry of social affairs
The above documents are required to prepare the child adoption originating processes which shall actually be filed in court to ensure the issuance of the child adoption certificate and judgment.
INTERCOUNTRY CHILD ADOPTION
This refer to an adoption application in which the applicants are foreigners and usually target their adoptive children from orphanages. Applicants are expected to go through the strict process and will be required to submit the following;
- Copy of birth certificates of applicants
- Copy of criminal record of applicants
- Copy of ID card of applicants
- Marriage certificate of applicant (where applicable)
- Medical report
- Information as to the child sex and age to search in orphanages.
- Medical certificate of fitness
- Social report from a certify social worker in your country
- Full photographs and passport-size pictures
- Residence/property description signed by local mayor or any competent
- Copy of bank/income statement of applicants
- Legal engagement with a law firm specializing in family law
- Morality report
- NB/ A Guarantor will be required preferably from Cameroon with the same file compiled.
ADOPTION PROCEDURE IN CAMEROON
The procedure for child adoption in Cameroon required the applicant through a family solicitor is expected to seize the Minister of social affairs and sign an engagement agreement authorizing the applicant to proceed and adopt a child in Cameroon. The applicant shall collaborate with the closest delegation of social affairs and orphanage where the child to be adopted is residence.
The delegation of social welfare shall, after confirming the documentation of the applicant, permit the adoptive parent (s) custody of the child for purposes of familiarity for about 3 months and upon satisfaction submit a child adoption welfare report to the court so a final adoption judgment and certificate can be issued. Here are the child adoption legal papers expected to be presented to the competent judge.
- Filing an originating application
- Filing of support statement
- File Social welfare report
- Notify state prosecutor for submission
- Submit the originating motion in court
- High court adoption decision.
Prospective adoptive parents should be very cautious about sending money or traveling to Cameroon to adopt a child from orphanages in Cameroon directly without going through the social welfare. We advise prospective adoptive parents to appoint a lawful family attorney in Cameroon to navigate through the process.
PROOF THAT THE CHILD ADOPTION PROCEDURE IN CAMEROON IS SUCCESSFUL
At the end of the child adoption procedure in Cameroon, the adoptive parents should be handed a copy of the adoption judgment and a copy of the adoption certificate. These documents are very important especially when the adoptive parent intends to emigrate with the child abroad. The adoptive parent can now apply for a new passport for their adopted child and ensure that the registrar in court should inscribe the ruling as marginal notes on the birth certificate of the adopted child. The child adoption procedure in Cameroon under our expertise takes approximately 3 months for inter-relative adoption.
In conclusion, child adoption in Cameroon can be complicated and frustrating enough reasons why an experienced family solicitor can help to streamline the process. Child adoption in Cameroon still remains one of the most complex areas of legal practice in Cameroon.
Article By: Barr. Mafany Victor Ngando.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.