Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has indeed shown that he has the interest of the people at heart. He has exhibited that he would not like to hear the cry of anybody, let alone babies and much more, orphaned and motherless babies.
Children are not commodities to be sold in the open market like beans and yam, hence Gov. Ifeanyi, aka Gburu gburu has set up a high power committee to look into ways of ensuring that child adoption be done honourably because humans are involved and not animals.
Inaugurating the Child Adoption Committee in the state headed by a clergyman and a notable one at that, Archbishop Dr. Emmanuel Olisa Chukwuma of Enugu Anglican Ecclesiastical Province, Ugwuanyi warned that his administration would not fold its hands to watch rules and laws on child adoption abused in the state.
Governor Ugwuanyi regretted that despite laws and best efforts of government and other concerned agencies, the incidence of wrong use of these facilities have continued to be in the increase.
The governor in a speech during the inauguration of the committee on
Child Adoption in the state noted that not only have cases of abandonment of children and the establishment and the operation of illegal adoption have continued to rise, it has also become evident that children are now being sold like commodities.
In his words,” while we acknowledge the right and the necessity for childless or benevolent couples to adopt motherless children and orphan, we believe that there is need for strict compliance with due process and the provisions of relevant laws to guarantee the security and well-being of the affected children.”
According to the governor,” it was to ensure that this principle is entrenched and also ensured that the worrisome anomalies of child selling and trafficking as well as other forms of child abuse are curbed in the state that government decided to set up a committee on Child Adoption.”
He urged the committee to work towards ensuring that government sets up the proper structure to facilitate the implementation of the Child Rights Act in Enugu State and to improve the quality of Child Justice Administration in the state.
The committee was also given the mandate by the governor to see that staff of the Ministry of Gender Affairs and Social Development involved in adoption are given adequate training to track any incidences of child abuse and neglect as they relate to child abandonment, selling, trafficking and sexual abuse.
The establishment of the committee came at no better time than now. The child adoption has become worrisome that men of questionable characters now engage in child adoption without the knowledge of government hence the incidencies of abuse.
Often times the news of illegal child adoption flood the mass media, screaming that baby factories have been discovered here and there and the method in adopting those children adopted often elicit sympathy and awe from the people. Some children are said to be sold as cheap as thirty thousand Naira to childless couples. There is fear that some of the hapless babies who could be leaders of tomorrow might enter wrong hands that might use them for ritual purposes, sexual reasons and in some cases, used for prostitution when they thus grow into adults.
Probably what spurred Enugu State Government into delving into child adoption is that there are genuine reasons why some babies should be adopted. Some lost their parents early in the life due to death, divorce or for varying reasons like babies considered to be witches and should be wasted. However in as much as there is need for official adoption for the good of the society, there is no justification for anyone to harbour women against their wish or even with their wish to breed children for sale like people rear fish for point and kill.
This probably is what rankles the psyche of every reasonable human being and government rose up to the challenge to see that child adoption is done orderly and honourably using government established or authorised facilities.
If this had been adhered to, the incident of parading young women and medical personnel over illegal child adoption will not arise.
However, ladies are becoming promiscuous and unruly to parents and engage in illicit sex and in the process become pregnant which they would not want to maintain their ego as holy society ladies. The worst is that some girls who claim to be Christians are involved in an unlawful pregnancy before marriage and seek hidden outlets to deliver and do away with the babies. The people who help them rid of their pregnancies do good service to them but are encouraging casual sex.
It is good therefore that governments beam searchlight into these baby factories homes to streamline child adoption. Those found to be doing it legally should be encouraged and illegal ones stopped.
Nweze writes from Enugu