The racket called ‘child adoption’            

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child adoption

On August 3, 1996 when many Nigerians, especially football fans were celebrating the under-23 football team for winning gold medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, a middle-aged lawyer was in one of the city bars buying drinks for the jubilating folks to also celebrate his divorce.

The successful lawyer untied the nuptial knot after 10 years of childlessness, a situation he blamed on the bareness of his divorced wife. But that was shocking for some people who thought the enlightened lawyer should have gone for child adoption instead of divorce. But the lawyer’s relations, especially his mother would not listen to such advice, insisting that her son was ‘man enough’ to sire a child of his own and a heir.

About 20 years down the line, child adoption, hitherto looked at with disdain in society, is fast gaining ground.

Visits to some of the orphanages in Lagos reveal how trendy child adoption is becoming. Most of these orphanages, which used to appeal to Nigerians through the media to come forward to adopt a child, no longer do so because of the waiting list of couples interested in adopting babies.

The Ministry of Youth and Social Welfare across the states in the country, especially Lagos and Abuja now receive huge number of applications on a weekly basis without a corresponding availability of adoptable children.

The high demand has resulted in the proliferation of the baby factory business to feed mostly the illegal child adoption, which has become a big racket in Nigeria.

But a top ranking matron at a Lagos orphanage home, who prefers to be called Mama Hope, frowns at the bad image given to licensed and reputable orphanages in the country by the illegal adoption sponsors.

“We were set up in accordance …