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Congo suspends international adoptions

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December 20, 2013 09:25 AM EST | AP

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — The Congolese minister of the interior says that the government of Congo has decided to suspend international adoptions of Congolese children, after allegations that some children were abandoned or abused.

Richard Muyej Mangez told The Associated Press that he had informed Western embassies on Thursday of the government's decision. He stressed that this was a suspension, and not a permanent ban on adoption. He said: "The government wants to get a handle on this matter, because there is a lot of criminality around it."

The decision follows a Sept. 25 report by the country's Department of Migration, which communicated to Western embassies the decision to suspend adoptions following allegations of trafficking. The Department claims that some Congolese children were abandoned by their adoptive parents, and sold "to homosexuals."