The number of children from Africa being adopted by foreign nationals from other continents has risen dramatically, a report has said.
In the past eight years, international adoptions increased by almost 400%, the African Child Policy Forum has found.
"Africa is becoming the new frontier for inter-country adoption," the Addis Ababa-based group said.
But many African countries do not have adequate safeguards in place to protect the children being adopted, it warns.
The majority of so-called orphans adopted from Africa have at least one living parent and many children are trafficked or sold by their parents, the child expert group says.
More than 41,000 African children have been adopted and taken out of home countries since 2004, the ACPF report says.
More than two thirds of the total in 2009 and 2010 were adopted from Ethiopia, which now sends more children abroad for adoption than any other country, apart from China.
"Compromising children's best interests while undertaking inter-country adoption is likely and adoption can become a vast, profit-driven, industry with children as the commodity," the African Child Policy Forum report said.
The group's director, David Mugawe, said that adoption in some parts of Africa had indeed become a business.
"It's got an element where adoption has now become commercialised. And so it's an industry that some orphanages are benefiting [from] - and they are promoting adoption basically to be able to sustain and maintain the orphanages," he told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.
3 months ago