Publication - Factsheet

Adoption - special restrictions: list of countries

Last updated: 12 Mar 2021 - see all updates
Published: 12 Mar 2021

Countries in which special restrictions are in place, published under section 62 of the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007.

Adoption - special restrictions: list of countries


Title of order: Special Restrictions on Adoptions from Ethiopia (Scotland) Order 2018
Date order in force: 8 November 2018

The order places on a statutory footing the suspension of adoptions from Ethiopia.

This order has been laid in response to significant child safeguarding concerns about practices and procedures in the Ethiopian intercountry adoption system. This decision is based on evidence that the UK Government alerted the Scottish Government to, received through international partners including Central Adoption Authorities and diplomatic missions.

The evidence shows a pattern of unethical practice and procedural irregularities within the Ethiopian system. This includes private orphanages receiving remuneration in relation to child placement decisions and false claims in relation to children available for adoption. There is also a lack of certainty around the legal guarantees in the Ethiopian adoption process regarding issues such as child matching.

The Ethiopian Government has failed to provide satisfactory reassurance, guarantees or clarification that pending and future intercountry adoption applications will be able to be processed and finalised in line with satisfactory international standards.

As a result, there is a lack of confidence that adoptions from Ethiopia meet the requirements we expect in regards to the adoption process and to ensure adoption is the best outcome for the children.

The Special Restrictions on Adoptions from Ethiopia Order provides that special restrictions are to apply for the time being in relation to the bringing of children into Scotland. 


Email: – Central Enquiry Unit

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

First published: 12 Mar 2021 Last updated: 12 Mar 2021 -