In what many have since seen as another lucrative venture, the rapid rise of orphanages in Eastern Nigeria has become a cover for child trafficking. Revere Maxwell Ogazi, an Anglican Priest, has raised the alarm over the worrisome and increasing rates of babies bring sold in Anambra State, describing the trend as another form of modern slavery.
Expressing worry over the rise of and proliferation of illegal orphanages in the state springing up in every nook and cranny in Anambra State, Ogazi who is the Director of Christian Compassionate Community Children’s Home, Obosi in the Idemmili North local government area, cautioned against the sale of children under the guise of adoption.
According to him, “babies should not be sold to foster parents, but should be given out for adoption without any monetary consideration”
He said: “Running of orphanages should be purely on charity and must be registered with the appropriate government ministry for periodic checks.
“Those engaging in illegal adoption without the knowledge of child development department of the State Ministry of Women and Children Affairs offend the laws of the state.”
He advised those who have any need for adoption of children to look for homes that were duly registered and equipped with modern facilities for the comfort and care of the children.
“Running of orphanages could be very demanding and capital intensive and public spirited individuals and government should consider supporting orphanages to help offset the education and health bills of inmates This would go a long way in curbing the sharp practices by some orphanage operators,” the cleric further suggested..
Ogazi listed the challenges facing orphanages to include lack of operational vehicles, generating sets, food items, children’s beds, baby walkers, as well as toys and routine drugs.
He, however, commended the state Commissioner for Women and Children affairs in the state, Mrs. Ndidi Mezue for what he called the revolutions she had introduced in the system.