Liberia: Father Of Adopted Children Frustrated Says Golden Opportunity Denied

Date: 2009-04-24

Monrovia —
The father of the three children the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare took out of the Mission of the West African Child Support Network (WACSN) says Acting Minister of Justice, Cllr. Eva Mappy Morgan, has denied his children their ever life-time golden opportunity that may never come their way again.

Upon the directives of Acting Minister Morgan, Mr. Randall Kerkulah, said his children were stopped from leaving the country at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) on grounds that the Ministry did not give them clearance of departure.

He said, in keeping with law and required legal procedures governing adoption, he relinquished his children to WACSN to be adopted under a court degree, which was later climaxed with an interview for visa at the United States Embassy in Monrovia.

Kerkulah claimed that the effort of the non-governmental organization was wasted owing to the action of Acting Minister Morgan by ordering security officers at the RIA to stop the children from entering the plane, thereby wasting their opportunities.

Addressing himself to the rather unfortunate situation in a chat with reporters yesterday, Mr. Kerkulah indicated that because of the action of the Acting Justice Minister, the adopted parents have refused to accept the children anymore.

Kerkulah, a father of seven children, said the mother of the children died during delivery of one of them, noting “after completing all paperwork in compliance with the Liberian Adoption Laws, which include the granting of a decree by the Probate Court, the children were then approved for adoption by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.”

A press statement quotes Kerkulah as saying that an independent investigation to establish the biological parenthood of the children was conducted by the US Embassy thereby allowing WACSN to put in place its customary practice of inviting the adopting parents to Liberia to spend three weeks to bond with the children.

He stressed that a required interview with the US Embassy was scheduled to complete the adoption process after which, the three Liberian children were then issued a visa for travel to the United States by the US Embassy.

After being cleared by Liberian Immigration at the Roberts International Airport, the three children were then stopped with their adoptive parents from boarding the plane by a Liberian government official who insisted that another clearance for departure was required before departing Liberia.

In this process, the children were denied travelling to America, while their adoptive parents looked on and felt insulted, embarrassed, and belittled.

“A sad end to this story of the three boys now ends in a tragedy, with their future compromised and their father left in a state of bewilderment. The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare allegedly illegally removed them from the WACSN Compound without a court order and placed them with street children at the Don Bosco Home,” the traumatized father of the children said.

Meanwhile Judge James Zota of Criminal Court “A” has found the Health and Social Welfare Ministry guilty for illegally removing the children from the home of WACSN with court order, the release concluded.


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