The Auditor-General's report ending December 31, 2020, has revealed that there are delays in the adoption processes in Ghana due to inadequate budgeting to the Central Adoption Authority (CAA) and the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) for their operations.
The audit, conducted between 2017 and 2020, also attributed the delays to poor record management, lack of supervision, and collaboration between the CAA and DSW.
The Auditor-General has, therefore, asked the Gender, Children and Social Protection Ministry to expedite work on the release of GHc102,859.41 by the Finance Ministry for the operations by the CAA to facilitate adoption services and other related costs.
The Performance Audit Report of the Auditor-General on the provision of adoption services was prepared in compliance with Article 187(2) of the 1992 Constitution and Section 13(c) of the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584), which was submitted to the Speaker of Parliament on June 10, 2021.
The report, signed by Mr Johnson Akuamoah-Asiedu, Acting Auditor-General, Ghana Audit Service, said although the CAA was supposed to ensure that only eligible prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) were matched with adopted children, however, there were delays in the adoption process caused by budget challenges.
The report observed that there was also a lack of training for CAA and DSW schedule officers in the adoption process after the amendment of the Children's Act to equip them with the needed information and skills in adoption.
It said there was no training manual for prospective adoptive parents to equip them to provide adequate care and protection for adopted children.
Also, there was no monitoring by CAA and DSW of adopted children, therefore, their welfare and fundamental human rights could not be guaranteed.
The report, therefore, made a number of recommendations to improve adoption services in Ghana including; the development of a training manual for prospective adoptive parents as soon as practicable and subsequent training for applicants whose applications have been cleared to adopt children.
It asked the CAA and DSW to collaborate in assigning timelines to their activities to ensure that they both meet the six-week duration specified by law for adopting a child.
The DSW was tasked to ensure proper storage of adoption records in their custody by creating and keeping soft copies of adoption applications.
The DSW should also email soft copies of completed applications to CAA to prevent the loss of documents.
Adoption is the process of legally taking another person's child and bringing it up as your own where all rights and responsibilities from the biological parents are permanently transferred to the adoptive parent(s).
Adoption provides a home for children in need of care and love because they are either abandoned, orphaned, or voluntarily given up for adoption.
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