JIS News

Story Highlights

  • A policy paper outlining recommendations for amendments to the Adoption (Children Of) Act 1958 will be presented to the Ministry of Youth and Culture within the next two months.
  • The Child Development Agency (CDA) is currently reviewing the Act.
  • Consultation sessions are being held islandwide to examine and solicit feedback on the content of the policy paper.

A policy paper outlining recommendations for amendments to the Adoption (Children Of) Act 1958 will be presented to the Ministry of Youth and Culture within the next two months.

The Child Development Agency (CDA) is currently reviewing the Act, with a view to improving the adoption processes and procedures, so they can be fully understood by members of the public.

The Adoption Act is a key component of the child-centred legislative framework supporting issues pertaining to matters affecting children in Jamaica. Consultation sessions are being held islandwide to examine and solicit feedback on the content of the policy paper.

“We are on time to present the policy document to the Minister, so after that the legislative framework will take over from there,” Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CDA, Rosalee Gage-Grey, told JIS News at a national consultation, on April 23, in New Kingston.

The event was the first of two national consultations on the proposed amendments to the Adoption Act. The next consultation will be held on Monday, April 28, at Holiday Haven, Runaway Bay, St. Ann, beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Addressing participants at the event, Mrs. Gage-Grey said the review will ensure that the current legislation is brought in full harmonisation with all relevant child centred laws, policies, protocols, conventions and international commitment law. She noted that inputs from both consultations will be included in the policy document which will be sent to Cabinet.

The CEO noted that a series of consultative sessions targeting various groups were held and the output from these sessions “were compared and discussed to ensure a holistic and representative compilation of recommendations for amendments to the Act.”

“Four stakeholder focus groups were facilitated, inclusive of group discussions with over 280 persons from a broad spectrum of stakeholders and professionals, inclusive of representatives of the judiciary,” she added.

The CEO said that discussions were also held with four child participation groups, including those who have experienced the adoption process, using art work, storytelling games and other age appropriate strategies to ensure that their perspectives and experiences were captured.