Ethiopia has banned the adoption of children by foreigners amid fears some are facing neglect and abuse in their new lives abroad.
Politicians in the east African country say orphans and vulnerable youngsters should be cared for and protected through local support systems rather than risk uncertain futures overseas.
Thousands of Americans have adopted children from Ethiopia – among them Hollywood stars Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt who adopted daughter Zahara Marley from the country in 2005.
The ban came about amid outrage after an Ethiopian girl was starved to death by a US couple in 2011.
Now the country’s parliament has passed a law ending all hopes of prospective parents getting children from Ethiopia.
Instead, lawmakers say orphans and other vulnerable children should be cared for locally in order to protect them from abuse and neglect abroad. But some MPs raised concerns that there were insufficient services in Ethiopia to care for such children.
Two years ago, Denmark controversially stopped the adoption of children from Ethiopia over what it said were concerns about possible human trafficking.