The Problems and Prospects of Child Adoption in Nigeria (Published)
It is not in dispute that children are an integral part of every family. More often than not, the absence of children in a family is viewed as problematic, especially in a place like Nigeria where indigenous customs and traditional practices still largely govern the beliefs of people. It is expected that every marriage should produce biological children; however, some couples are not that fortunate for various reasons ranging from barrenness to loss of pregnancy or non-survival of children. To this end, adoption offers such couples an alternative which makes it possible for them to have children which they can legally call their own, with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities over such children as if they were the biological parents. Although adoption is not a novel practice in the Nigerian Family Law, many challenges have hampered the smooth running of the process, particularly in recent times. Sadly, chief among these challenges is the bizarre reality of “baby factories” that the social welfare system has had to grapple with. Hence, in order to aid a proper interrogation of relevant issues, this paper is divided into five sections. Section I deals with introductory matters in relation to adoption; section two considers the legal framework regulating adoption in Nigeria; section three which is the thrust of the paper, considers the problems facing the child adoption system in Nigeria; section four takes a look at the position of intercountry adoption as well as the future of adoption in Nigeria; while section five concludes with meaningful suggestions that could uncurl the adoption system in Nigeria.
Keywords: Challenges, Islamic Law, child adoption, customary law