The Family Based Care Organizations Alliance (FOSCA) is calling on the Government of Ghana (GoG) and all stakeholders especially the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) and related agencies to adopt a zero-tolerance approach for baby selling in Ghana.
The call is in connection with the arrest of 11 members of an alleged baby selling syndicate made up of two doctors, four nurses, two mothers, two social welfare officers, and a traditional birth attendant by the joint operation of Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) and the Medical and Dental Council.
FOSCA strongly condemns this act particularly for the involvement of the social welfare officers, who are expected to champion the rights of children by promoting and protecting child rights and facilitating adoptions. It is regrettable that these officers rather hide behind their mandate to perpetrate such heinous crimes. FOSCA sees this as a wake up call on the Gender Ministry to put in place structures and systems that will weed out such miscreants.
The arrest of this syndicate marks the second time Social Welfare Officers have been fingered in such despicable act. It would be recalled that in April 2018 two Social Welfares officer were arrested in Kumasi for allegedly selling a day-old baby for various sums of money. This is worrying and it is important that all stakeholders led by the Government adopt measures that would send strong signals to all, that crimes of this nature are intolerable.
FOSCA acknowledges that most of the drivers of these acts are structural and need long term measures, such as continuous awareness creation on the adoption procedures and proper recruitment systems, to address them.
We urge the MoGCSP to conduct an internal assessment of the personnel of the Social Welfare department to determine their (Social Welfare officers) suitability to carry out such delicate function of protecting children.
FOSCA also calls on the media to play a role in educating the public on the processes and procedures for adoption and related laws.
FOSCA asks citizens to consult the Central Adoptions Authority at the Department of Social Welfare (National) since it is mandated to handle all issues on adoptions in Ghana.
FOSCA urges the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), MoGCSP and all authorities involved in the investigation and prosecution of this case, to do a thorough work in order to ensure that if the suspects are found guilty, they will face the full rigors of the law to serve as a deterrent to others.
Naa Adjorkor Mohenu
Convener (FOSCA Alliance)