The adoption act: how necessary is it in the Zambian customary setting

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Muyoyeta, Nalishebo M
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The aim of this research is mainly to examine the provisions of the Adoption Act' in relation to the Zambian customary law. The pluralistic nature of the Zambian legal system renders both statutory and customary law applicable. Statutory law is applicable as a result of the law as was adopted from Britain, the ex colonial power. Customary Law on the other hand comprises of practices and usages of indigenous people. It is also recognized in the Zambian Constitution.^ In the Zambian customary setting, the concept of formal adoption did not exist because of the extended family system which exists in the Zambian culture and takes care of those children who are orphaned. Apart from one's parents, a child regards his aunties and uncles as mother and father and all cousins are considered as brothers and sisters. Traditionally society made room for children whose parents for one reason or another failed to take care of them. What used to happen and still happens to a lesser extent is that those children were immediately placed under the care of relatives. In the event of the death of both parents, the situation was the same in that the surviving relatives took over the responsibility and care of the orphans. It was unheard of for children to be placed in an orphanage just because they had lost both parents. There was always a relative even if remotely related who could take care of the children.
Adoption -law and legislation--Zambia