Liberia: Former Dep. Health Minister Queries WACSN's Suspension

10 June 2009

Liberia: Former Dep. Health Minister Queries WACSN's Suspension

10 June 2009





Former Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, and Ex-President of the Association of Orphanages in Liberia, Diana Davis, has expressed sadness over the Inter-country adoption in the Country over the past few months, involving the West African Children Support Network (WACSN).

Madam Davis questioned the so-called suspension of WACSN's certification as an adoption agency and legal NGO by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare when in fact the Ministry of Health does not have the authority by law to certificate any adoption agency in Liberia.

Madam Davis revealed that the exercise of Liberian adoption is the sole prerogative of the Probate Court of Liberia.

She noted that the Domestic Relations Law of Liberia states that: "the Probate Court is the final arbiter of adoptions in Liberia. An order of adoption abrogation made by a Judge of said Court shall have the force and effect of and shall be entitled to all the presumptions attaching to a judgment rendered by a court of general jurisdiction in a common law action" (Domestic Relations Law of Liberia, Subchapter C, Part I, Section 5.51).

Madam Davis says most of those leading the false charge against WACSN abandoned the children of Liberia during the war and took sanctuary in the safety of the United States with their families.

She concluded that the Ministry of Health's action to suspend WACSN certification which it did not issue is also illegal. "The Ministry does not license or certificate NGO, nor does it accept filing of Articles of Incorporation from NGOs. Equally, the MOH does not certificate adoption agencies", she argued said.

Madam Davis added that it was always WACSN that provided food, medicine, clothing to orphanages and street children throughout the country when the government could least afford to do so.

The former Deputy Minister says that it was WACSN who stood in the gap where the government was missing-in-action. "Accordingly, to hear officials at MOH tarnishing the reputation and good work of WACSN today is unacceptable and abominable", she said.

It can be recalled that the government of Liberia through the Health and Social Welfare Ministry recently suspended the certificate of adoption of the WACSN on grounds the organization was engaged in child trafficking; the allegation proven wrong by the Criminal Court "A".

The Independent Human Rights Center took the two parties to Criminal Court "A" where the Health Ministry was guilty of illegally removing the children from the compound of WACSN.

Relevant Links

West Africa



Dr. Peter Coleman, former Minister of Health and Social Welfare (1997-2006), added that WACSN was the key player and channel used by the Ministry of Health, the International Red Cross, the World Health Organization and the World Food Program (WFP) to get relief, medicine and food supplies to children and families caught at the frontlines between belligerent warring factions in the brutal civil conflict.

He indicated that for the past 11 years, the organization engaged in feeding, caring and providing for children.

WACSN is a Christian based NGO that works with children, families and community-based groups to strengthen local people.

Its Pastoral Network comprises of 800 grass-root churches and 1,000 Pastors that promote the body of Christ in Liberia through sustainable development projects and protection of the environment. The organization became renowned in the country and abroad doing the height of the civil war when it transported and provided food, clothing and medicine for starving children and families throughout greater Monrovia and at the war front in Lofa, Nimba and Bong Counties.