I DON’T WANT YOUR BABY
Monday, March 11th, 2013
The first time I mentioned, to the hearing of my mother, that I would like to adopt a child when I was older, I was sharply rebuked. This reaction left me puzzled, for though I had heard someone saying before that Nigerians weren’t favorably disposed to adoption, I had waved it off because I couldn’t believe anyone would be opposed to what in my opinion was a benevolent gesture. So, I set out to find out the truth about Nigerians’ attitude towards adoption, and here’s what I discovered.
Having a child is one of the yardsticks by which the success of a marriage is measured; therefore infertility can be one of the strongest sources of pressure on a marriage. Sometimes, the woman (who mostly bears the brunt of the stigma of infertility in our society) is made to believe that without children, her place has not been secured in her husband’s home [Ginger’s blog]. Adoption is one of the options that can be used to manage the situation.
Upon research on the subject, my fears were confirmed. The Ebunoluwa orphanage confirmed that in Nigeria, customs and traditions have it that children who cannot be cared for by their parents are taken in by someone within their extended family, but the idea of taking in or adopting a child who is not somehow related to the family is highly uncommon.
In a survey by Ezugwu of 264 women who were having difficulty conceiving in South-Eastern Nigeria to determine their knowledge, attitude and practice of child adoption, it was shown that 183 of them [69.3%] were unwilling to adopt, while only 81[30%] were willing to consider adoption.
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