Dec 16, 2015 News
Director of the Childcare and Protection Agency (CPA), Ann Greene, has brought firmly into focus the
fact that there are no laws barring homosexuals from adopting or being foster parents.
Greene stated emphatically that the agency does not discriminate, and under her direction she encourages anyone to apply for the care and protection of vulnerable and neglected children.
“There is nothing in the law barring gay people from adopting or applying to be foster parents. The Childcare and Protection Agency does not discriminate, and under my direction the agency is more than willing to try it.”
Traditionally, heterosexual couples are selected to be foster parents or adopt children, but the agency has recently begun exploring other options in its quest to find more comfortable and secured homes for OVC (orphans and other vulnerable children).
Her comments came during her presentation on childcare services offered by the state. The forum was a Children’s Rights Workshop hosted by SASOD with support from USAID’s Advancing Partners and Communities (APC) Project last Friday.
The activity commemorated International Human Rights Day 2015. The workshop was held under the theme, “Our Rights, Our Freedoms, Always.”
The workshop, which was attended by representatives of nearly 30 Civil Society organisations, focused on the rights and issues affecting OVC in Guyana.
Greene is encouraging more citizens to apply to be foster parents and/or adopt. She said that the CPA recently tried a single male; he was screened, selected and approved to be a parent. This however was challenged by the child’s biological parents who argued against the adoption – the agency won the case on the grounds that the single man has met the state’s requirements and the selection was in the best interest of the child’s welfare.
Director Greene posited that children need love, support and protection from violence and any harm. It does not matter who those protectors and caregivers are, as long as the child’s welfare is secure and comfortable.
“That is what children need, security and protection from abuse, violence and harm; the agency will protect these children and hold their welfare in regard – Under my direction the Agency is willing to try it [single persons and homosexuals adopting]. Children need us.
“The Agency screens everyone the same, equally and without discrimination, and will grant a child/children once applicants meet the agency’s requirements of offering safety, comfort and resources to take care of children. Children’s welfare is paramount to us.”
These remarks were later supported by Attorney-at-Law, Dela Britton, who also sits as a Trustee on the Board of Directors of the Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association (GRPA).
“Single persons and homosexual couples can adopt. There is nothing in the law against this; people have their own biases and prejudices, but the law must consider what is in the best interest of the child.”
The best interest of the child is determined under the mandate of the Director of the Childcare and Protection Agency with power invested in the office under the Childcare and Protection Act.
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