The cost of adopting a child in Nigeria currently is what we shall be looking at as we progress in this article. Adoption has gained wide acceptance in recent times as opposed to what was obtainable in the past when it was largely frowned upon in Nigeria. Today, many couples in the country see it as a very good way of having their own child and raising the family of their dreams but not many of them know just how much they are to pay in order to adopt a child in Nigeria; we shall look at all that and more in a moment.
WHAT IS THE COST OF ADOPTING A CHILD IN NIGERIA CURRENTLY?
There are various factors that affect the cost of adoption in Nigeria currently and they include agency charges, court charges, attorney fees as well as the cost of paperwork such as birth certificate, etc. Having said that, the cost of adopting a child in Nigeria ranges between ₦180,000 – ₦250,000. It may be more, it may be less but depending on the whole process, on the average, the fees are likely to cost in the region of the figures we have stated.
Adopting a child in Nigeria is a really expensive and very thorough process, especially for foreign individuals seeking to have a child of their own from the country. Also, the process of adoption in Nigeria is different from one State to another so what is applicable in one may not be in another, you may need to bear that in mind.
PROCESS OF ADOPTING A CHILD IN NIGERIA FOR RESIDENTS
The process of adopting a child in Nigeria is governed by written law passed by the legislature. This law is known as statutory law and since adoption procedures are different for various States in the country, one can only adopt a child based on the statutory law which is enacted in any of the States that they reside in. Bearing in mind that there are general national requirements and standard procedures for adoption in Nigeria, you should also know that there are set rules which differ from one State to another when looking to adopt a child wherever you are in the country.
In many States in the country, the law which governs adoption states clearly that there must be an official application for the adoption of a child by the parents involved and this application must be submitted to the registrar of the court for review. Using Lagos as an example, Section 116 of the Child Rights Law of Lagos State 2015 establishes that the following documents must be included with the application form to be submitted when trying to adopt a child:
- The marriage certificate of the adopting parents or a sworn declaration of marriage
- The birth certificate or sworn declaration of age of each adopting parent.
- Two passport photographs of each adopting parent
- A medical certificate of fitness of the adopting parent(s) from a government hospital.
- The adopting parent(s) are not allowed to make this application to the court without the consensus of the government welfare agency in the state.
Different ministries are in charge of these procedures in different States of the Federation. In Lagos State however, the government agency in charge of this adoption process is the Ministry for Youth and Social Development, Ikeja.
Once the ministry receives the application, Social Welfare Officers in this jurisdiction will be ordered by the court to conduct a thorough background check so as to get the basic information of the adopting parents in order to establish that the adopting parents are genuine in their intentions. Furthermore, the court may decide to appoint a guardian to represent the child to be adopted during the whole process. This guardian which represents the child will serve as the welfare officer in charge of the zone where the child to be adopted resides.
PROCESS OF ADOPTING A CHILD IN NIGERIA FOR FOREIGN CITIZENS
The process of adopting a child in Nigeria for foreign citizens is even more rigorous than it is for citizens resident in different parts of the country. It also costs more and the Federal Government of Nigeria takes it very seriously. Foreign citizens who desire to adopt a child in Nigeria should follow the step by step processes below:
FIND A TRUSTED ADOPTION SERVICE PROVIDER
Finding a trusted adoption service provider is very important for foreign citizens who are looking to adopt a child in Nigeria and this is the first step to take before anything else. Ensure to find a licensed adoption service provider in the United States that you can go through for the whole process. Kindly take note that the United States region where they operate must licence the adoption service provider that you are using for this process. For more information on this, visit the official website of the US Department of State.
APPLY FOR ELIGIBILITY TO ADOPT A CHILD IN NIGERIA
This is done to check if you are eligible to adopt a child in Nigeria as it is not all foreign citizens that can do so. As a foreign citizen looking to adopt a child in Nigeria, you will need to meet the requirements of the immigration laws of the Governments of the United States and Nigeria and you will be required to submit an application to confirm your eligibility to adopt a child in Nigeria.
This is easily achieved by filling out an I-600A form, which represents the Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition with the United States Department of Homeland Security’s US Citizenship and Immigration Services. This will confirm your eligibility status to adopt a child in Nigeria.
THE MATCHING STAGE
Once you have confirmed your eligibility to adopt a child in Nigeria as a foreign citizen, you will be given a referral by the central adoption authority in Nigeria. The child you are looking to adopt must also be eligible for adoption in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The child must also meet the basic requirements and definition of an orphan under US immigration law.
ADOPT THE CHILD
The last stage involves the actual adoption of the child. This has to do with finalizing the adoption process with the court and adoption agencies involved.