Adopting a child in Nigeria isfiled and process through the Family court or Magistrate courts where the presiding Magistrate or the ‘adoption judge’as popularly referred will have to evaluate the process and decide whether the application should be granted or not having regards to the welfare of the child. The child’s welfare will be judge in relation to the child’s wellbeing, happiness, education and safety if the process is allowed.
The adoption parent(s) must be able to satisfy the adoption judge that he/they can take absolute care of the child. The adoption judge or magistrate will most importantly look at the family structure of the adoption parent, the earning power of the applicant(s), the accommodation that will be available to the child and the child’s access to education.
We receive good number of adoption request on weekly bases usually from overseas, and usually we file and fast track the adoption process and also process the entry visa for the adopted child to join the new adoption parent(s) in his/their country of abode.
Where adoption is not legally appropriate under the law either as a result of existing parental tie such as relationship between a child and his stepfather or stepmother or Grandfather or Grandmother, the court will request for Guardianship process instead of adoption. The two processes are hugely similar but of different legal implication at a later point.
Consent is very vital to adoption and guardianship application.
The major source of adoption law today is the Child’s Right Act.