Children are not necessarily blood-related to the parents, they become part of the family through adoption.
What is Adoption?
Adoption is a social and legal process that provides a new family for a child because the biological family either cannot raise the child or lacks the desire to cater for the child.
Adoption gives a home to the homeless child, it gives a family to an orphan, and it gives opportunity to those who don’t have the privilege of having better living conditions. Adoption brings joy to childless homes, creating families and saving lives.
Adoption’s most important purpose is to provide the avenue for a child to be part of a family and have consistency throughout their life.
Who Can Be Adopted?
Adoption involves three (3) parties, the adoptive parent(s), the child and the birth parents, In the absence of the birth parents, there is the orphanage. Children from infancy to 18 are legally eligible for adoption, you can adopt a child from a foreign country as well, according to the legal processes of adoption in that country.
Procedure to Follow
In Nigeria according to the Child Rights Act 2003, it stipulates that a person wishing to adopt a child must reside within the state that the child already lives in. Also, the person(s) must be at least 21 years older than the child to be adopted and must prove the capability to care for the child.
By Nigerian law, the procedure for adoption involves presenting an adoption application, accompanied by the relevant documents to the state ministry that deals with adoption, Once the ministry is satisfied with the documents, they send it to the court.
A welfare officer will be appointed to investigate the adoptive parent(s) if the court is satisfied with the application and documentation, to verify that the requirements were met, and if the court is convinced of the eligibility of the adopter(s), a letter of approval is given to allow visitation to orphanages to identify with a child. If the court is not convinced, the court will revoke the application.
Documents Required for Adoption
- For a married couple, their marriage certificate or sworn declaration of marriage.
- Birth certificate or sworn declaration of the age of the applicants.
- Two passport photographs of the applicants.
- A medical certificate of fitness from the government hospital of the applicant.
- Evidence that the applicant(s) is a citizen(s) of Nigeria (international passport or national ID card will suffice here).
- Evidence that the applicant(s) have been residents for at least five years in the same state as the child to be adopted.
- If the applicant is unmarried, evidence that he/she has attained the age of thirty-five (35) years and the child to be adopted will be of the same sex.
- Evidence of means by which the applicant(s) will maintain the child.
When it comes to adoption, the most suitable age would be from infancy. In some states in Nigeria, 18 years and below is the legal age for adoption, while in some other states in the country, it is 17 years and below.
Adoption is majorly concerned with finding homes for children, though there are other reasons for adoption. One of such reason would be for family continuity and succession, but whatever the reason, the adoptee must be much younger than the adopter.
If you are considering adoption, I know this article has given you insight into what it takes to adopt. You never know adoption might just be the miracle you need.
Researched By: Rachel Onyimowo Igomu