Ethiopia’s parliament has passed legislation banning the adoption of children by foreigners. The country is a popular destination for families seeking to adopt, with celebrities Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie among those who have adopted children from there.
The adoption of Ethiopian children has caused heated debate in the country since 2013, when a 13-year-old girl died mysteriously in the US leading to the conviction of her adopted parents.
Now the country’s parliament has passed a law ending all hopes of prospective parents getting children from Ethiopia.
Instead, lawmakers say orphans and other vulnerable children should be cared for locally in order to protect them from abuse and neglect abroad.
But some MPs raised concerns that there were insufficient services in Ethiopia to care for such children.
Ethiopia is one of the biggest source countries for international adoptions by US citizens, accounting for about 20% of the total.
Celebrities Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are among those who have adopted children from Ethiopia.
However, in 2013, a US couple were convicted of killing an adopted Ethiopian girl.
Two years ago, Denmark controversially stopped the adoption of children from Ethiopia over what it said were concerns about possible human trafficking.
This piece was written by Emmanuel Igunza for BBC Africa, Nairobi.