Social Work Intervention against Illegal Child Adoption

Ngozi Stella Udechukwu


Children most times are vulnerable to abuse, unable to decide what happen to them and that is why intervention is necessary for the lives of children that are sold to unknown destinations in Nigeria. This study investigates social work intervention strategies against illegal child adoption in Enugu State, Nigeria. Mixed method design is used to authenticate data collected from questionnaire. Ministry of Gender Affairs (Welfare Unit Staff) Enugu and Welfare Office Nsukka were interviewed on the process of adoption and its efficacy. Two hundred questionnaires were shared to 200 respondents using availability sampling as method of their selection. The data were computed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS version 20). The findings show that majority 142 (71%) of the respondents saw adoption as acceptable and government approved while 58 (29%) said it stigmatizes and culturally disapproved. It also showed that majority 126 (63%) go for illegal adoption while 74 (37%) follow legal means. The reasons for illegal adoption – 88 (44%) said cheaper avoiding bottlenecked procedures at the social welfare; 81 (40.5%) said fear of being stigmatized by neighbours and 24 (12%) ignorance of its consequences. Some 72 (36%) said that some sell off their babies to avoid the stigma, shame, family/society’s prosecutions, 85 (42.5%) for economic reasons; 24 (12%) is to do away with the baby and continue with life and 19 (9.5%) supports all of the above reasons. Majority 157 (78.5%) said no serious attention has been given by the government to stop baby selling due to corruption of the law enforcement agencies. The entire 200 (100%) respondents agreed that social workers have many roles in preventing illegal adoption like working with the federal ministry of women or gender affairs to ensure proper child adoption and follow up after adoption to ensure the safety of the baby, since many baby buyers use them for rituals. These findings have obvious implications for social policies and future research on child welfare.


Social Work Intervention; Baby Selling; Illegal Child Adoption; Stigma.


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DOI: 10.28991/SciMedJ-2019-0101-1


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