Lagos considering review of adoption processes


Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs.

Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Uzamat-Akinbile-Yusuf.

By Kazeem Ugbodaga

The Lagos State Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf has said that the government is considering the review of its adoption processes to meet with current realities and align with global best practices.

The Commissioner disclosed this recently at a meeting with Family Court Judges, Magistrates and other stakeholders in the Child Development sector.

According to her, the state government, after identifying some gaps in its adoption process across the existing Family Court, decided to meet all relevant stakeholders for the harmonization of ideas towards best practices in child adoption procedures.

Akinbile-Yussuf explained that the aspect of adoption processes being considered for review included the facilitation of adoption process, particularly in the area of securing an Adoption Order, Discharge of Care Order, among other processes involved in the adoption of babies.

The Commissioner said, “There is need to enshrine a culture of uniform practices by Courts and Magistrates in the Discharge of Care Order, also the police officers in charge of writing “Police Extracts” should be professionally trained so that needed information would be available to courts when presiding over matters that affect children.”

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Speaking on the outcome of a recent monitoring visit to some children on international adoption in Europe, America and other countries, the Commissioner expressed satisfaction with the condition and conduct of the adoptees from the State.

She added that the visit afforded the state government delegates to share knowledge with other care givers in developed climes, affirming that the State is on the right track in its adoption processes and that the children still believe in Nigeria and are willing to contribute their quota to the development of the country.

Akinbile-Yussuf advocated the discouragement of institutionalization of children in orphanages, saying that children who grew under family setting were at better advantage than those who were left to bond with other children in orphanages where they would be under strict monitoring.

“Orphanage is not the best for child development, it is ideal for children to grow with their parent and under the supervision of family members” the commissioner stated.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola added that the state government remained committed to reducing the bureaucracies associated with adopting a child especially when it bothered on international adoption such that the existing relationship between Lagos State Government and other developed countries would be strengthened to attract interested and qualified international adopters.

He expressed the belief that the review would bring a new beginning into Court systems, adding that the resolutions reached with the adoption stakeholders would aid the ongoing review of the Child Rights’ Law.

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