Senate moves to harmonise child-adoption laws
4 May 2017 National
President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, says the 8th Senate will harmonise all child-adoption laws to enable Nigerians wishing to adopt children do so without hindrance.
A statement by Mr Chuks Okocha, a media aide to Saraki, quoted him as saying this when he received the South-East Professional Women Association of Nigeria and the Diaspora (SEPWAND in Abuja on Wednesday.
Saraki said that the essence of the initiative was to reduce the rampant cases of girl-child sex slavery in certain parts of the country.
“Though there are different adoption laws from the various states of the federation, the 8th Senate will ensure that these adoption laws are harmonised to make child-adoption easier for couples.
“The harmonisation of these adoption laws will go a long way to halt the increasing and rampant cases of girl-child sex slavery that make some girls get pregnant and later forced to sell the child.
“The Senate will debate these laws from the states, harmonise them and make them less stringent as they are and make adoption laws easier for couples that plan to adopt any child.
“This will stop the recourse to patronising illegal child-adoption centres,’’ he said.
He added that the amendment would enable vulnerable young girls to access credit to set up businesses and in the process put operators of baby factories out of business.
President of SEPWAND, Mrs Nwankanya Ibe, said the South-East had recorded several cases of illegal adoption centres called “Baby Factory.’’
She said that the unfortunate development formed the basis for establishing the organisation.
According to Ibe, SEPWAND is a non-governmental organisation whose key objectives are to eradicate girl-child abuse, sex slavery and all forms of violence against women.
She added that the organisation was set up to empower the girl-child through scholarship awards, livelihood skill developments and empowerment of women in agriculture.
“We intend to have a skill development centre at our headquarters in Enugu for the pilot stage and eventually in all state capitals in the South-East.
“Another programme that we are passionate about is the sensitisation of women and empowering them in agriculture by providing them with high-yield seedlings and seed capital,’’ she said.