The family affairs ministry in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Sunday condemned a newspaper advert about a  “private attorney assisted adoption” of “children of any age”, saying that such an advertisement is illegal under the Child (Care and Adoption) Act 2010.

The advertisement, published in The Vincentian newspaper on Friday, said all inquiries are confidential, and included a local number that persons could call or WhatsApp.

On Sunday evening, the Ministry of National Mobilisation, Social Development, the Family, Gender, Persons with Disabilities and Youth, which holds responsibility for the Adoption Committee, said it wishes to inform that the advertisement “is no way under the guidance of the Ministry or the Adoption Committee”.

“The Ministry strongly condemns such a move and shall state that in accordance to the Child (Care and Adoption) Act 2010 Part XII Section 92 subsection 1, ‘A child may be placed for adoption in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines only by the Adoption Committee’.

“In addition, Section 91 Subsection 1 clearly describes the functions of the committee, which include but are not limited to ‘determining the manner in which a child is selected for adoption; to receive applications; to assess the suitability of a person to adopt a child’,” the statement said.

The ministry further noted that the Child (Care and Adoption) Act 2010 Part XVI states in Section 132, subsection 1,  “A person shall not: (a) place or arrange the placement of a child for the purposes of adoption; or (b) receive a child in his or her home for the purpose of adoption unless the child has been placed by the Adoption Committee pursuant of this Act.”

The ministry also pointed out that the act says, “A person shall not publish or cause to be published in any form or by any means an advertisement dealing with the placement of a child for adoption.”

The ministry said that under the act, both offences are liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding EC$10,000 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months.

“The public is therefore asked to be vigilant and to report to the police anyone in such activity,” the ministry said.

iWitness News’s calls to the number quoted in the advertisement went directly to voicemail.

4 replies on “Ministry condemns adoption advert”

  1. So what is being done by the authorities to identify and question those responsible for the advertisement, which is an attempt to adopt children contrary to the Child Protection Act? The service provider of the listed telephone number will have a name and identification number associated with it.
    And why is IWN hiding the number when it is already in the public domain?
    Can we have some follow up please!!?

  2. What is the ministry doing about all the neglected children who is hungry malnourished, naked and some homeless?
    Am not saying this is right but at least someone sees a problem, and perhaps an opportunity to exploit.
    Forget the legalities whats the ministry’s answer to this growing problem?

  3. Safe Haven House Charities says:

    The referenced advert was intended to spread the word about our cause and services. That advert was in the “drafted” stage and should never have been released for publication. Once I was made aware that placing such advertisements in St. Vincent is prohibited by law, I contacted the newspaper straight away and instructed them to pull it.
    There is no illicit activity taking place here whatsoever. As a Vincentian, I saw a need and answered the call by forming an organization intended to help combat the issue of abuse, neglect, abandonment and in come cases murders, of innocent children. We do not offer Adoption Services and /or Legal Services and regret this misunderstanding. We are available to discuss this matter further with the appropriate authorities.

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