Emerging Trends in Fostering and Child Adoption Practices among the Igbo
The paper examines emerging trends in child fostering and adoption practices among the Igbo in time perspective. It discusses traditional practices that served as alternatives to child adoption in the pre-colonial period, child adoption practice which is one of the legacies of British colonial administration and the various dimensions of illegal child adoption practices among the Igbo. The first section of the paper is an introduction comprising related literature on child adoption process in Nigeria. The second section provides a conceptual framework linking this with the place of children in Igbo society and why the lack of it is a major factor fuelling illegal adoption. The third section focuses on trends in child adoption practices from the colonial period to present times. The paper concludes by proffering solutions to curb and eliminate the menace of illegal child adoption among the Igbo. These include a nationwide implementation of Child Rights Act 2003, effective monitoring of child adoption services by appropriate agencies, the promotion of legal child adoption and medical treatment options for infertility by medical practitioners and in particular church leaderswhose views hold sway in Igbo land.
Key Words: Igbo, Child Adoption, Fostering, Baby factories, Legal adoption, Illegal adoption