Both international law and the domestic law of many countries have affirmed the paramountcy of “the best interests of the child”. Similarly, section 18(4)(c) of the Child Care Act, which sets the best interests standard for the adoption of a child, provides that:
“A children’s court to which application for an order of adoption is made … shall not grant the application unless it is satisfied―
… (c) that the proposed adoption will serve the interests and conduce to the welfare of the child …”
- Examples of African countries which incorporate children’s clauses in their constitutions include Namibia (art 15 of the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia); and Uganda (section 34 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda). The paramountcy of the best interests of children is confirmed in many international conventions. See, for example, art 3 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989. The convention was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 20 November 1989 and entered into force on 2 September 1990. See also, art 4 of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, 1990.