We are largely a superstitious people and so, it’s not really surprising how little many Nigerians know about Child Adoption in the first place. While everyone, even those who don’t have children, are relatively familiar with pregnancy and childbirth, few people are aware of the complicated logistics, legal requirements, and financial risks that accompany adoption in Nigeria.
The adoption process in Nigeria comes with a whole host of emotional challenges and some professional situations for adoptive parents. To simplify the process, here are legal steps to take:
- Submission of a formal letter of request to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Social Development of Youth & Sports of the respective state or its equivalent.
- Prospective parents will be invited for an interview.
- If successful, a letter of approval would be given to search around for the adoptable child in any of the Government-approved homes.
- Payment of the prescribed fees.
- Mandatory pre-counselling and post-counselling sessions on approved dates.
- The court order for the release of the child will be issued and the parent adopting the child is allowed to take the child for a probational period of 3 months.
- After 3 months, the child would be presented for legalization in the court and final approval granted for the adopting family.
Guidelines and Adoption law in Nigeria
- The Nigerian law on this states that, a parent –child relationship must have been established (temporary custody) before the court decision can be considered final.
- It may vary from state to state, but prospective adoptive parents must be at least aged 25 years of age and 21 years older than the child. For married couple, one of the parents must meet the age requirement.
- Both single and married parents can adopt, but a single person will not be allowed to adopt a child of opposite sex, except in rare circumstance. Due to child abuse and molestation. In majority of the states, married couples are required to adopt the child jointly. In the same vein, lesbians and gays couples may not be allowed adopt in Nigeria as the law prohibits same sex marriage.
- There is no stipulated income requirement for inter-country adoptions. But, in some cases it’s the fee charged for filing to the court.
It would be wise to also come prepared and have these documents at hand as they may be required.
- Birth certificates
- Marriage certificates
- Divorce decrees (if applicable)
- Proof of Nigerian citizenship
- Financial documentation
- police report
Have you ever considered adopting a child in Nigeria? We’d love to hear about you child-adoption story!