Mrs Elizabeth Odoh, a legal practitioner, has called on Nigerians to be more open to child adoption even when they are blessed with their biological children.
Odoh made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja.
She advised Nigerians to go for child adoption through legal processes.
”Nigerians should note that the only legal way to adopt in Nigeria is to work with the respective state social welfare office (usually named the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development).
”Adopt the child and make it your own. All the formalities must be done and when you adopt that child, treat them the way you will treat your own children,” she said.
The lawyer said that even though she and her husband had three biological children, they felt something was still missing in their lives.
She said, “There was this emptiness I was feeling and I thought I was suffering from depression and I didn’t want my husband or children to know about.
“It was really affecting me. So, I had to just open up to my husband and after we discussed, he suggested that we do something special for someone else who is not related to us.
“After thinking of what to do for a few days, the thought of adoption just came to my mind and when I mentioned it to him, he too said that was what was on his mind but he didn’t want to force it on me.
“So, we immediately started researching on how to go about it, and even the children were excited when we told them.”
Odoh said that from the beginning of the process until when they got the child, there was a feeling of peace and contentment, and the emptiness she felt was gone.
“So if 50 per cent of Nigerians agree to adopt one child each, imagine how much joy and happiness they will be spreading to these children in foster homes or orphanages.
“Even though this has nothing to do with my law practice, but because of the joy it has brought me, I have decided to take it up as a passion to advocate for adoption, especially babies, to help give them the best start in life.”
She advised those intending to adopt not to give up no matter how long or intrusive the process might be, saying that once they were matched with their child, it would be worth the trouble.
She also advised those who are single but want to adopt to go ahead and start the process as singles too are allowed to adopt children of the same sex.