Standing on the adoption queue could take so long, especially for a couple that has just agreed to adopt a child/children that are not biologically theirs. We’ve heard of many young girls from good homes falling pregnant, and in a bid to hide themselves and their families from the shame, either take refuge in places far away from home or, better still, get housed by Catholic nuns till it’s time to deliver, and then give up these kids for adoption.
However, with the recent rise in adoption, it suddenly seems as though these little ones are scarce, as most times, it’s so hard to adopt them.
Now, to my story;
I have a family friend who wishes to adopt a child, as she and her husband have none. They have registered with the State Government, and it’s been five years since they’ve been on the waiting list, as most orphanages in Lagos are somewhat reluctant to give up these children, besides, if the kids finish at the orphanages, there will be no more donations and contributions to their pockets.
My family friend, tired of the long wait from the State Government, and decided to follow the advice of friends and family, to adopt a child outside Lagos State. She received three phone numbers of facilitators of these adoptions. Here’s how her conversation with them went;
First Facilitator:Good morning madam, I hear you want to adopt a child.It is so important to have an adopted child, because they bring blessings to the family. I will help you. What gender of child do you want?”
Family Friend:A boy and a girl…I want both…but any sex at first will do.
First Facilitator: Hmmm…that is possible. What age range are you looking at?
Family Friend:A new born baby hopefully.
First Facilitator:Okay, I have a new born baby boy, but there have been lots of offers for him.
Family Friend:Really? I am so excited…do I still stand a chance?
First Facilitator:He hasn’t been born yet, he’s due in three weeks. The price is Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira.
Family Friend: What? Do you know that I’ll feed the child and clothe him?
First Facilitator: We spend too much too on the upkeep of the girl. We pay for her antenatal trips, we buy her food, we give her shelter, and even when she leaves us, we have to give her something too.
Family Friend:That’s too much. I’ll discuss it with my husband and call you back.
The conversation ends there, and my family friend thinks the facilitator would call her back, but she never does. She decides to try the second facilitator.
Second Facilitator: Any sex you say?
Family Friend:Any sex as long as it’s a child.
Second Facilitator:Boys go for Eight Hundred Thousand Naira and girls go for Five Hundred.
Second Facilitator:In addition to that, you have to provide basic amenities for the girl while pregnant. Items like two bags of rice, one tin of oil, two cartons of cooking ingredients and three hollandaise wrappers for those taking care of her.
Family Friend:Am I paying for Omugwo? That is outrageous.
Second Facilitator:Madam, seize this opportunity while you can, because lots of people are on the line and there’s only one pregnant girl.
The conversation ends, and my family friend is fed up. ‘Maybe it’s because I’m asking for a tender baby, what if they have an older child for adoption?’
She tries the third Facilitator.
Third Facilitator:An older child you say?
Third Facilitator:That’s the hardest to get, but we can get a child of about nine months to one year for you.
Family Friend:Good news.
Third Facilitator:Your money is one million naira…
My family friend hangs up the phone, she has had it. She quietly gave up hope to adopt through any of these mediums, besides, she had no idea if these children were stolen or given up through the right way.She decided to keep praying for the orphanages in Lagos State to call her with good news, and mostly paid them visits bearing gifts, all to no avail.
One day, she received a call from one of her relatives, she told her that there’s a girl who was pregnant,and wanted to give up the baby…she is sixteen years old. My family friend was so ecstatic and began to make preparations, but when she called the girl, it was her aunt who answered.
Family Friend:I am asking after a girl named Ihuoma, I heard she’s pregnant and wants to give up the child.
Girl’s aunt:Why do you want to adopt? Don’t you have children of your own?
My family friend is taken aback by her rudeness.
Family friend:Is the question necessary?
Girl’s Aunt: Seeing that the world is filled with evil people and that ritualists could pose as interested candidates, yes.
Family friend:I am interested in adopting the baby…
Girl’s aunt:It’s a pity that my sister’s child decided to disgrace her family this way but God is in control. Well, if you are really interested, she’s in her fifth month of pregnancy and we have been taking care of her. Your money is four hundred thousand naira but that’s the first instalment for my niece. The second instalment will be three hundred thousand naira for our family members, they also need a percentage since they are never seeing the child after you take him or her.
My family friend is already irritated.
Family Friend:You know what? I think you are just so greedy. Have you people even thought of me? Have you thought that this child might be born with sickle cell and I might keep spending money for the rest of my life in taking care of his or her medical bills? What of HIV?Has the mother been screened? What if the child contracts it during childbirth? Have you thought of deformities? What if in the process of trying to forcefully abort the baby at its initial stages, the mother took something harmful? Have you thought of…
The phone went dead. The girl’s aunt couldn’t be bothered, she had ended the call.
Now my question is, is it proper to sell off a baby? Yes, granted you might have taken care of the birth mother, and helped her go through it all, but isn’t it enough to ask for just hospital bills from the intended parents? Does it have to be all about money? Most times these people don’t even bother to ask important questions to the couple like; ‘What do you do for a living? What are your working hours? How do you intend to look after the child when you are off to work? Have you any medical plans for the child? Do you intend to include the child in your will and take care of him or her like your biological children when they come? How do you think the child would feel if tomorrow after learning of his or her origin, think that she/he was given up for a lot of money?
No one thinks of the best interests of the little one instead, they are greedily thinking of their pockets and for most orphanage homes who have decided to withhold these innocent ones from being adopted due to selfish reasons, I pray that God’s wrath doesn’t fall on you.
Just like a little girl of nine whom I met at an orphanage home in Edo state some seven years ago said to me; ‘I wish with all my heart that a family comes to adopt me before my tenth birthday.’
Let’s give these children a home and not dwell in how much we can make from them. They are not business transactions but human beings like you and I.
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