ADOPTION AND CUSTODY LAWS OF CHILDREN UNDER ENGLISH COMMON LAW
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In family law, the adoption of the Latin adoptare (etymologically: ad opt are, “to choose”) means “to give someone the rank and rights of a son or daughter”  . In other words, adoption is an institution by which a family or filiation link is created between the adopted people, generally a child and the adopting parent (s), his / her new parents. Who are not his birth parents? The adoptee becomes the child of the adopter (filiation bond) and therefore obtains moral and patrimonial rights and duties.
The purpose of adoption may be to provide for the needs of a child by establishing a filiation when he does not have one because he is an orphan. Adoption can also allow a person adopting him to pass on his inheritance because he has no children or if both parents are of the same sex, they have the right to adopt. It can also be a question of the desire to create a family.
The adoptee can be a minor child or an adult, an orphan , the child of his spouse, or a child voluntarily abandoned or taken from his parents by the State ( child protection ) or illegally by a person ( child trafficking ). The adopter is a single person or a different-sex or same-sex couple (same-sex adoption), a stranger or the spouse of the child’s parent.
According to local law, adoption may be called single, plenary, confidential or even open international if the adoptee is not from the same country as the adopter. Note the Muslim law which does not recognize adoption but allows another procedure: the kafala. The positive law can coexist these different systems, or do recognize that some.
The adoption procedure generally consists of a preliminary procedure for abandonment or adoptability of the child followed by a procedure for approving the adoption and registering it in the civil registry.
Known since the highest Antiquity, adoption will not be widely practiced until the Romans . In Rome, the adoption can be said to be “imperial” and aim at the designation of an official successor. It therefore generally concerns adults who are adopted by another adult who has no descendants to whom they can pass on their patrimony.
With the end of Antiquity, adoption disappeared in Europe; it was even prohibited under certain conditions.
“Medieval adoption, which was legally established as a fictitious filiation, could only take place if the adopter was in a state of procreation, which prohibited adoption by eunuchs and the helpless . Likewise, it was “contrary to the truth” and impossible according to nature for the adoptee to be regarded as the fictitious son of an adopter who would have been younger than him because, in nature, the father is necessarily older than the son. “
On the other side of the Mediterranean, adoption is prohibited by Muslim law. This is an interpretation of verses 4 and 5 of surah 33 of the Quran:
“God did not put two hearts on man; he did not grant to your wives the rights of your mothers, nor to your adopted sons those of your children”
“Call your adopted sons after their fathers’ names; it will be fairer before God. If you do not know their fathers, let them be your brothers in religion and your clients; you are not guilty if you do not know it; but it is a sin to do it knowingly… ”.In its place, the kafala, a system of placement without modification of filiation is established.
There’s a good framework for adoption in Cameroon. For instance, the legal framework of adoption in the Civil Law Jurisdictions of Cameroon laid down in the Code Civil (Civil Code).For instance as per section 344 of the Code Civil which is to the effect that adoption rights are vested only on persons aged above 40 years for persons filing individual applications. Although this framework exists, adoption procedures still prove cumbersome and ineffective.
It is based on the aforementioned that we are carrying out this research to find out the root causes of the problems with adoption procedures in Cameroon
What are the legal framework regulating adoption and custody procedures under Cameroonian law?
The rationale for adoption as a legal concept in Cameroon common law?
What are the legal methods used in the verification of adoption proceedings?
What is the role of the court in adoption proceedings?
What are challenges in adoption in Cameroon?
This research has both general and specific objectives;
To critically discuss the concept of adoption and Custody under the adoption law.
- To discuss the concept of adoption in common law.
- To critically examine the law relating to adoption proceedings in Cameroon.
- To assess the role of the court in adoption proceedings.
- To examine various challenges encountered in adoption proceedings.