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 orderSpecial Restrictions on Intercountry Adoptions from Nigeria
Date order in force12 March 2021

The order places on a statutory footing the restriction of adoptions from Nigeria.

The reason for making the Order is in response to significant child safeguarding concerns about integrity, practices and procedures in the Nigerian intercountry adoption system.

This decision is based on evidence received through international partners, including Central Adoption Authorities and diplomatic missions, as well as media sources. There is a pattern of evidence that there are weak safeguards and unreliable documentation within the Nigerian intercountry adoption system which create significant safeguarding risks such as child trafficking and corruption. 

The information received by the Scottish Government indicates that there are adoption practices and procedures taking place in the Nigerian intercountry adoption system that cause significant risk to the welfare and safeguarding of prospective adoptive children in Nigeria. As such, restrictions are deemed appropriate on the basis that it would be contrary to public policy to further the bringing of these children into the UK.  The special restriction requires that any adoption from Nigeria will need to satisfy an exceptions criteria. This is a significant safeguarding measure to improve protection of children adopted from Nigeria and will help ensure adoptions are in the best interests of the child. The special restriction is a child safeguarding measure which will increase Scottish authorities’ oversight of adoptions of children from Nigeria and be a deterrent to using intercountry adoption as a potential route for child trafficking.

Putting in place this suspension means that future applications to adopt from Nigeria will not be permitted unless the Scottish Ministers are satisfied that a particular case ought to be treated as an exception. 


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 -