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Equity for the child in adoption: Some issues of concern in the adoption of children ordinance of Sri Lanka

Author:

Rose Wijeyesekera

University of Colombo, LK
About Rose
Senior Lecturer, Department of Private and Comparative Law, Faculty of Law
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Abstract

The Adoption Ordinance of 1941 regulates the adoption of children in Sri Lanka. The few ad hoc amendments made thus far to this eighty-year-old colonial statute have proved inadequate to efficiently address illegal baby farming and trafficking of children in the country. It also falls short of internationally recognized standards and norms regarding adoption of children, denying many children several rights they are entitled to as vulnerable human beings. This situation is due to two main reasons. Firstly, the Ordinance fails to respond to the contemporary socio-cultural structure, which has transformed tremendously during the last eight decades. Secondly, powers and functions relating to child rights governance have fluctuated between the center and the provinces, resulting in a tugof-war between multiple authorities. Amidst insensitivities, adversaries and corruption, the system fails to ensure equity for the children. The article stresses the need to relocate the adoption law within a childrights-centered framework. Being mindful of the multi-faceted and largescale exploitation and trafficking of children, and the powerplay between central and provincial authorities working on probation and childcare, the article emphasizes the necessity to overhaul the law and the institutional framework. The article aims to strike a balance between human rights issues, psychological and psychosocial issues, and issues relative to child-rights governance. The article proposes substantive and procedural changes and lists out guidelines for judicial and other officers involved in adoption processes to protect the rights of the child.
How to Cite: Wijeyesekera, R. (2022). Equity for the child in adoption: Some issues of concern in the adoption of children ordinance of Sri Lanka. University of Colombo Review, 3(1), 135–152. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/ucr.v3i1.64
Published on 02 Aug 2022.
Peer Reviewed

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