Adoption As Option For People In Need Of Children
ADOPTION of children has long been in practice in the country. It is covered in the Child Rights Act 2003 enacted by the National Assembly. Among other things, the Act spells out the rights and responsibilities of a child in Nigeria and provides for child justice system administration and the care and supervision of a child, among other things.
In particular, Part XII makes far-reaching provisions that regulate adoption throughout the country. It is a legal and acceptable option that people who are genuinely in need of a child can take if they wish to do so.
For persons wishing to adopt or foster a child in Lagos State, the Office of Youth and Social Development in the Lagos State Ministry of Youth, Sports and Social Development, Alausa-Ikeja is in charge of the process. It has specified guidelines and process for all categories of persons ranging from Nigerians resident in Lagos State, those living abroad and international adoption for non-Nigerians. In adoption, people legally take on the role of parents concerning a person who is not their biological child.
By so doing, the person adopting the child assumes full and legal responsibility for a child. At the adoption office in the ministry, a member of staff of the office confirmed that adoption has become more acceptable than the practice used to be.
The official who could not disclose his name because he did not have permission to speak to the press revealed that there are “more than enough applications” from people seeking to adopt children. Of particular mention is that many Nigerians living abroad are coming home to adopt children. He informed that the process is open to the different categories once they fulfill the conditions attached.
In the guidelines, the person wishing to go for adoption or fostering is required to submit application letter to the ministry. The person is also expected to hold interview with Director Social Welfare/Representative on appointed date. There is payment of prescribed fees, completion of appropriate forms and obtaining list of requirements.
Other stages include administrative processing/screening session, mandatory pre-counseling session on appointed date, panel session, post-counseling (proper parenting) on appointed date, result, collection of child from registered orphanage and legalization at the Family Court after three months. Of particular note is that the process is in conformity with The child Rights Law of Lagos State which prescribes that an adoption process must not take less than 12 months.
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