Terrelonge Calls for Amendment to Adoption Laws, Gains Stakeholder Support

State Minister of Education and Youth, Alando Terrelonge, is proposing to amend Jamaica’s adoption law to force some parents to relinquish their rights to their children.

The move is aimed at speeding up the country’s notoriously tardy adoption processes.

He notes that several children remain in state-care facilities awaiting adoption.

But, the State Minister says in many cases, the neglectful parents of some of those children, plan to return to take them in the future.

Stevian Simmonds reports:


Mr Terrelonge says there are hundreds of people who want to adopt children in state care.

But, he says the current law is proving a hindrance.

Mr. Terrelonge says parental neglect is extremely harmful to children.

The Youth Minister says some parents are refusing to relinquish their rights to children they’ve neglected.

But, he says not all parents who have children in State care, should be concerned about the proposed amendment to the law governing adoption.

The State Minister says he has appointed a new Adoption Board to review the proposed amendment to law as well as other proposals.

In the meantime, President of the Clarendon Foster Care Association, Diana Cleghorn, says she supports the State Minister’s proposal.

She notes it’s harsh but necessary.

She says some parents need to be educated about their roles and responsibilities to their children.



Stevian Simmonds is an investigative journalist with almost 3 years of experience in radio broadcasting, production and reporting. She graduated from Caribbean School of Media and Communication in 2014 and joined Nationwide News in 2016. In 2018, she produced a special report examining the working conditions of the Bussiness Process Outsourcing Industry. She worked undercover as a call center agent for a month, revealing the lack of data protection and general security infrastructure in the industry. Her report also highlighted the poor working conditions and remuneration faced by workers in the industry. In 2018, Stevian traveled to New Delhi India where she participated in the Inaugural WHO Partners Forum benefiting from critical training related to reporting on women’s and children’s health issues.


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