Adoption In Nigeria
By Jude Chukwuemeka
Mr. Fubara Iminabo - Director Social Welfare, Rivers State Ministry of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation
Morning Crossfire begins a two-part show starting from today. The audience has a choice to tell Nigerians what their view is regarding adoption in Nigeria. So how do you feel about adoption? Sheriff Quadri says the Nigerian orphanages will be a topic for the second day discussion, which is tomorrow.
Fubara Iminabo joins the show through a phone line and explains the process for adoption. He says adoption is based on child rights law. He speaks also about family adoption. It takes a lot of scrutiny before adoption is granted. The possibility of the requester being a trafficker is not ruled out at this stage.
Background checkers will take a look at the person who is adopting; can he take care of a child? What kind of religion does he belong to? What kind of income does the person have? How does he or she makes his money? In what kind of house do they live in? Will it be conducive for the child? All these questions are very necessary.
The show hosts emphasize that the Child's Right Act of 2003 stipulates the following conditions for adopting a child in Nigeria among others.
An application for adoption has to be made to the High (Family) Court accompanied with the following documents;
a) where the applicant is a married couple, their marriage certificate or a sworn declaration of marriage;
(b) the birth certificate or sworn declaration of age of each applicant;
(c) two passport-sized photographs of each applicant;
(d) a medical certificate of the fitness of the applicant from a Government hospital; and
(e) such other documents, requirements and information as the Court may require for the purposes of the adoption.
A parent-child relationship has to be established before the court decision can be considered final. The duration of the pre-adoption parent-child relationship varies from state to state ranging from a few months to two years.
Age requirement for adopting parents is at least 25 years in which case the prospective parent is required to be at least 21 years older than the child.
Both single individuals and married couples are free to adopt.
Notably, a single person will not be allowed to adopt a child of the opposite sex except in extraordinary circumstances.
If married, both members of the couple must be Nigerian citizens.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals or married same-sex.
Couples in other countries who are known by the Nigerian court to be LGBT may not be able to adopt children from Nigeria.
Also, non-Nigerians may not adopt in Nigeria.
According to the US Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria, Nigeria is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.
Hague Adoption Convention is an international treaty that provides important safeguards to protect the best interests of children, birth parents, and adoptive parents who are involved in intercountry adoptions.
Ejetavwo George wrote the following on Facebook: I have had course to visit orphanages in Lagos and Delta states and we see grown up children in those homes unadopted. From inquires, only very young babies are in demand. They adduce various reasons for this. What is the government doing to correct these anomalies? Could it be due the clauses on adoption?
Furthermore, Fubara says that one thing that often causes friction is the refusal of people who want to adopt a child refraining from following the rules. One such rule is that a person who hails from Rivers Sate and lives therein cannot go to another state and adopt a child, bringing that one into Rivers State. Yearly, Rivers State accomplishes about 70 adoption in a year. For the past year, there are 58 cases not completed yet.
Hosts Wemimo Adewuni and Sheriff Quadry says that the presence of many baby factories in that state and elsewhere raises the importance of hastening the process of child adoption in that state.
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ADOPTION IN NIGERIA
Morning Crossfire with Wemimo Adewuni (@wemimospot) & Sheriff Quadry (@SheriffQuadry)