Alternative Orphan Care in Uganda - Policy, Practice and Perspectives: What’s Love Got to Do With It?

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  • According to UNICEF, there are currently over 150 million orphans in the world. In Africa, this situation is predominantly explained as one of the consequences of HIV/AIDS, conflict, and poverty. Children are placed into orphanages for numerous reasons, often without consideration of the capacity of extended family to care for them and without an understanding of the social conceptualizations of institutional care. In Uganda, there has been a significant increase in the number of orphanages, from which children are eligible for both domestic and intercountry adoption. Intercountry adoption practices over the last two decades have increased the vulnerability of Ugandan children, placed them in precarious situations with weak protection and care, and put pressure on a particularly weak national childcare system. Domestic solutions are being sought to overcome these challenges and to preserve cultural traditions and structures. Alternative care policy and practice, however, are at odds with one another, despite government and NGO attempts to formulate a strong domestic framework to provide security and stability for Uganda’s vulnerable children. This paper presents findings from fourteen stakeholder interviews conducted in Kampala in summer 2013 with Ugandan adoptive parents and representatives of local and international NGOs, government, and academia. All interviewees were involved with vulnerable and orphan childcare policy or practice. The paper presents stakeholders’ perspectives on the challenges and opportunities related to alternative care interventions in Uganda. It also discusses the implications of these findings for childcare practitioners, potential intercountry adoptive parents, and policymakers.

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  • Type of Item
    Research Material
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International