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Nigeria - Register an Adoption

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Procedure[edit]

The application for adoption originates from the social welfare office of the state where the child is located. The Government office responsible for adoptions in Nigeria is the magistrate court of the state where the child is located.

The social welfare officer visits the home of the adoptive parents until the officer is satisfied that the juvenile is settled and the prospective adoptive parents are capable of looking after him or her. In such a case, the social welfare officer reports in writing a positive recommendation to the court. The magistrate will meet the adoptive parents in court to confirm their suitability and will issue or deny the adoption order.

The social welfare office of the state where the child is located is considered the adoption authority.

In most Nigerian states, the adoption process begins when an application for an adoption order is made in accordance with local requirements and submitted to the registrar of the competent court. The court then assigns a guardian ad litem for the child to represent him/her in the adoption proceedings. The guardian ad litem is the social welfare officer in charge of the area where the juvenile resides, or a probation officer or some other person suitably qualified in the opinion of the court of assignment.

The guardian ad litem investigates the circumstances related to the proposed adoption and files a report to the court. The guardian ad litem represents the childs interests until the magistrate questions the prospective adoptive parents and grants the adoption order giving legal custody to the adoptive parents.

After the adoption order has been issued, adoptive parents should obtain a new birth certificate for the child listing them as the childs parents. In some states, after the adoption has been granted, the adoptive parents must obtain the courts permission to remove the child from Nigerian jurisdiction, either temporarily or permanently. In addition, the social welfare officer might be required to submit a letter to the Nigerian immigration office, stating that the adoptive parents are now the legal parents of the child. This letter then permits the adopting parents to apply for a passport to take the child out of Nigeria.

Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for several documents for your child before he or she can travel to the the foreign country:



Birth Certificate

You will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child, so that you can later apply for a passport. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.

Nigerian Passport

Your child is not yet a citizen of your country, so he/she will need a travel document or Passport from Nigeria.

In some states, after the adoption has been granted, the adoptive parents must obtain the courts permission to remove the child from Nigerian jurisdiction, either temporarily or permanently. In addition, the social welfare officer might be required to submit a letter to the Nigerian immigration office, stating that the adoptive parents are now the legal parents of the child. This letter then permits the adopting parents to apply for a passport to take the child out of Nigeria.



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Required Documents[edit]

The paperwork involved in Nigerian adoptions is extensive and time-consuming to locate.

Prospective adoptive parents are advised to consult with a Nigerian attorney about the document requirements for the state where they are adopting.

The following is a list of some of the required documents:

  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage certificates
  • Divorce decrees (where applicable)
  • Applicant(s) certified copies of identification documents
  • Passport photos
  • Proof of age (Birth certificate)
  • Marriage certificate
  • Medical clearance certificates
  • Police clearance certificates
  • Proof of financial capacity (Bank statements or evidence of assets or pa slips)
  • Proof of consent of biological parents of a child and consent of a child sixteen (16) years and above
  • Proof of residency
  • Proof of what can be provided to a child to be adopted
  • Certified copy of birth certificate
  • Report from the social worker.



Office Locations & Contacts[edit]

FEDERAL MINISTRY OF JUSTICE

New Fed. Secretariat Complex

10th Floor, Federal Secretariat, Wing lB (1001-1099),

Block One, Shehu Shagari Way, Abuja

Tel: 09-5235194.


FEDERAL MINISTRY OF WOMEN AFFAIRS AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

2nd Floor (201-224), Annex 3, New Federal

Secretariat Complex, Shehu Shagari Way

P.M.B. 229, Central Area, Abuja, FCT

Tel: 09-5237115



NATIONAL CIVIL REGISTRATION

Sokode Crescent by Michael

Okpara Street, Zone 5,

Wuse, Abuja

Tel: 09-5230667-9

ABUJA CHIEF MAGISTRATE COURT

Marnbolo Street

Wuse, Zone 2, Abuja

Tel: 09-5233845


NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION

National Assembly Complex

Maitama, P.M.B. 444, Garki,

Abuja Tel: 09-5234900-5

Fax: 09-5234149



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Eligibility[edit]

  • Adoption of certain juveniles under the age of 17years, who are abandoned, or whose parents and other relatives are unknown or cannot be traced after due inquiry certified by a juvenile court.
  • Any child above the age of one year may voluntarily be given out for adoption by his birth parents"; According to Sec 2(3) Adoption Laws of Lagos State. This latter part of the law seeks to dissuade parents from abandoning their children indiscriminately, and encourages parents who are unable to care for their children to voluntarily give them up for adoption within the stated time.
  • The court may upon the application of any person in the prescribed manner, make an adoption order, authorizing such a person to adopt a juvenile.
  • An adoption order may be made upon the application of two spouses authorizing them jointly to adopt a juvenile, but in no other case shall an adoption order authorize more than one person to adopt a juvenile
    • One of the applicants must be not less than 25 years and above and at least fifteen (10) years older that the child to be adopted.
    • In a case of a joint adoption application, the law requires that at least one of the parties not be less that 25yrs, and should be at least 21yrs older than the juvenile
  • Some text writers suggest that this age limit is to ensure the maturity and stability of the adopting spouses to ensure that the juvenile' or child' being adopted is well cared for.
    • Those who are infertile and can prove it.



Fees[edit]

Adoption Fees: There are no standard fees charged apart from small filing fees to the court.



Validity[edit]

Valid forever


Documents to Use[edit]

Please attach documents that can be used by people. e.g. links



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Sample Documents[edit]

Please attach sample completed documents that would help other people.



Processing Time[edit]

Time Frame: Adoption procedures can take from a few months to over a year depending on the childs state of origin.



Related Videos[edit]

Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. 
Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites.
Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation.
Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, 
sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube
width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed.
e.g In the follow


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Instructions[edit]

An abandoned child shall not be taken into custody by anyone without reference to the police and the social development department charged with the responsibility of the treatment of such children as the social officer has the duty to arrange for formal adoption or placement of any abandoned child in the state".

1.Applicants must meet eligibility age requirements before applying;

2. It is advisable to always visit officially recognized orphanages for adoption to avoid fraud and any other related problems;

3. Adoptive parents not in Nigeria must travel to the country to participate in the adoption process;

4. It is a must that applicants have the child in their care and custody for three (3) months before adoption is approved.

5. Applicants must have finance capacity to support the adopted child;

6. Consent of both parents is a necessity for successful adoption;

7. Applicants must be medically fit;

8. Ensure that the child to be adopted is eligible.

9. Biological parent(s) (if alive) or guardian of the child to be adopted must agree to the adoption;

10. If a child to be adopted is sixteen years and above, he / she must also agree to the adoption.

11. Both agreements (consent) from biological parents and child must be witnessed by either court, diplomatic consulate or a public lawyer / attorney;

12. A lawyer or attorney can be hired by applicants to assist in the adoption process;

13. In order for a child to be adopted, he / she must not have a child of his / her own at the time of the adoption, nor have any legal descendants.

14. Adopted individuals may not marry their adoptive parents or siblings.



Required Information[edit]

1. Full name of applicant(s) / adoptive parent (s)

2. Sex, Age and marital status of applicant(s)

3. Details of biological parent(s)

4. Details of the child to be adopted

5. Residential home of applicant(s) / adoptive parent(s)



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Need for the Document[edit]

Adoption is refers to the legal act where someone usually an elder person takes on the rights of parenting another (child). Adoption involves permanently transferring all rights and responsibilities, from the biological parent(s) / Guardian(s) to the person adopting. In Nigeria through single / not married may apply under some specific age requirements, in most cases, adoption is granted to couples. The Ministry of Social Affairs and the High Court are the key institutions / departments in handling issues regarding adoption is the Nigerian Adoption Authority.



Information which might help[edit]

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Other uses of the Document/Certificate[edit]

Please explain what are other uses of obtaining this document/certificate.
e.g. Birth Certificate can be used as proof of identity.


External Links[edit]

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Others[edit]

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