The Imo Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development has warned its staff and people of the state against aiding and abetting illegal child adoption.

The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mrs Ngozi Izunobi, gave the warning during a general meeting with staff of the ministry at the state Secretariat, Owerri, on Thursday.

Izunobi said that anyone caught in the act would not only be dismissed from service but also be handed over to the police for prosecution.

She said there were laid down rules and regulations guiding child adoption which must be adhered to at all times.

The permanent secretary described children as gifts from God, whose life and privileges should be respected and cherished by all.

She observed that it was the responsibility of staff of the ministry to guide intending couples appropriately on child adoption.

Izunobi also advised couples to be prepared at all times to obey such rules and regulations, to safeguard the sanctity of the process.

The permanent secretary used the opportunity to urge staff to adhere to the ethics of the civil service by being punctual work.

She also advised them to desist from malingering and leaving office before the close of work.

Responding on behalf of the staff, Mr Henry Nkemdirim, the Director, Administration and Finance in the ministry, assured the permanent secretary of the readiness of staff to continue to abide by the work ethics.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that there have been cases of baby factory homes and illegal child adoption in the state, which prompted the state government to evolve measures to check such acts.