French MP in Madagascar over 'frozen' adoptions

31st March 2005, Comments 0 comments

ANTANANARIVO, March 30 (AFP) - French Junior Foreign Minister Renaud Muselier on Wednesday arrived in Madagascar for a visit focusing on development and on child adoption, which was frozen in August last year, diplomats said.

ANTANANARIVO, March 30 (AFP) - French Junior Foreign Minister Renaud Muselier on Wednesday arrived in Madagascar for a visit focusing on development and on child adoption, which was frozen in August last year, diplomats said.

During his four-day trip, Muselier will hold talks with Madagascar's President Marc Ravalomanana, Prime Minister Jacques Sylla and other government officials, according to a statement issued by the French embassy here.

Last year, authorities in the Indian Ocean island broke up a fraudulent international adoption ring that was allegedly trafficked in bought or stolen infants and subsequently froze the practice.

The government plans to present to parliament in May a new bill to regulate child adoption in Madagascar.

"Since August 2004, no licence has been issued by the state-run Inter-ministerial Commission on Adoption," Bakolimalala Rabezanahary, the head of children department in the population ministry, said in February.

Rabezanahary explained that the country has about 175 pending cases of adoption.

On February, Muselier, who pledged to resolve the child adoption saga, said the French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin had writted to his Malagasy counterpart to pursue solutions to the problem.

France tops the list of nations adopting children from Madagascar. In 2003, some 250 children were adopted of whom about 80 percent by the French according to the island's population ministry.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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