In Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria, no fewer than 497 abandoned babies have been rescued from various streets in Lagos State while 82 were released for adoption in the last one year by Government officials.
This adoption figure is a far cry from the 753 applications that were received from prospective adopters out of which 709 were Local and 24 International. Seven applications were received from relatives while nine were received for fostering; 85 were legalised through Juvenile Courts as 308 letters of approval were granted.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Youth and Social Development, Dr. Dolapo Badru, who disclosed this yesterday at a press conference in Lagos said that the babies were rescued after their mothers abandoned them.
Badru added that the babies were taken to various Government Homes and Private Orphanages in the state.
Speaking on adoption and fostering service, Badru said “adoption is a process of establishing legal parentage of a child in need of permanent home in a loving environment. The child might have been abandoned, or an orphan in need of a permanent home.
“Suitable persons by legal means acquire parental claim over certain categories of children with/without blood relationship. It could either be local, international or relative adoption; while fostering is the placement of children in need of care or protection in the hands of fit persons by means of a fostering order.
“This Office also registers and monitors the activities of Orphanage Homes and related Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs).
He explained that prospective adopters were screened in order to determine their suitability for adopting children.