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Why Kaduna banned fostering, adoption of children

In a bid to ensure child protection, Kaduna State government recently announced a ban on fostering and adoption of children in the state.  This ban…

In a bid to ensure child protection, Kaduna State government recently announced a ban on fostering and adoption of children in the state. 

This ban is to address the rising trend in child trafficking, abuse of children by some orphanage homes and to curb the activities of unscrupulous elements in the society.

The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Hafsat Baba, had raised an alarm that the state is gradually being turned into a hub where people buy and sell children. 

According to her, children are being sold for as high as N400,000 and as low as N80,000.  

On January 10, 2018, a day-old baby boy was stolen by a woman from Yusuf Dantsoho Hospital at Tudun-Wada in Kaduna shortly after being delivered by his deaf and dumb mother through caesarean section. 

The disappearance of the baby from the hospital generated reactions and protests from different quarters, particularly from persons living with disability.

In addition to the ban on fostering and adoption, the state government added that it is mapping out all orphanages in the state while stopping opening of new ones. 

 “It has come to our notice that a lot of people have turned their houses into orphanages. When they get children, they don’t give them out for fostering or adoption, they instead, use them to get donations which they use to feed their own children. Children are also sold while some are killed and sold in parts. This is a very serious matter that deserves urgent intervention,” the commissioner stated.

However the women affairs ministry was recently dragged before a court by a Ghanaian after it retrieved three children from him. 

The ministry had alleged that the Ghanaian bought three children from a nurse in Zaria, saying he purchased a baby boy at N400,000 and a girl at N350,000. 

Some stakeholders have applauded the temporary ban on fostering and adoption, describing it as a welcome development but cautioned that adoption and fostering should not be completely stopped. 

The matron of Mercy Orphanage home at Romi in Kaduna, Mrs. Laura Zaharia, who lauded the government’s decision, said, “It is a known fact that some people don’t have good intentions when they adopt children, as such they used them for all manner of things including child trafficking.”

“Some of the orphanage homes are opened to help children from displaced or troubled homes. There should be rules on how they should operate rather than stopping new homes from springing up. Whoever wants to open an orphanage home should register with the government. 

“In our orphanage home, we do not do adoption, instead we raise the children from nursery till tertiary institutions and we have health care for them too,” she said.

Hajiya Rabi Salisu Ibrahim said, “We now have situations where children are being sold at N300,000 or N200,000. Before, we were not enlightened about the reason for the ban and stoppage of the opening of new orphanages but after series of investigations, and also coming in contact with some of the people involved in these activities, we saw the need for it.”

However, she noted that it is not good to completely stop fostering and adoption, saying “these babies are being thrown away on a daily basis and there is a limit to what the government sponsored orphanages in Kaduna, Zaria and Kafanchan can do for these children because they are many. 

“Getting a law in place will take time, there is need to do a survey, to domesticate the legal framework and make sure all orphanages and other operators know about it and adhere strictly to the provisions,” she stressed.

Similarly, a lawyer, Barrister Kehinde Oyeniran, suggested that a more concrete or robust law should be put in place to regulate the entire procedure. She however averred that fostering and adoption should not be stopped because of couples who cannot bear children and would want to adopt.

 “We also have those whose children are grown up and have left the house and as such need the company of someone as well as those who are financially buoyant and want to assist by adopting a child,” Oyeniran said.

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