How To Apply For Child Adoption In Nigeria

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How to Apply for Child Adoption in Nigeria: A Comprehensive Guide

Adopting a child is a noble act that can change a child's life forever. It is an act of selflessness and love, and Nigeria has a robust adoption system in place to facilitate the process. However, the process can be confusing and complicated, especially for first-timers. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide on how to apply for child adoption in Nigeria.

Understanding the Adoption Process in Nigeria

Adoption in Nigeria is governed by the Child Rights Act of 2003, which provides the legal framework for the process. The Act defines adoption as "the legal process that transfers the parental rights and responsibilities of a child's biological parents to a child's adoptive parents." The process involves several steps that must be followed to ensure a successful adoption.

Eligibility to Adopt in Nigeria

Before applying for adoption, it is essential to understand the eligibility requirements. According to the Nigerian Adoption Guidelines, the following individuals are eligible to adopt in Nigeria:

  • Couples who have been married for at least three (3) years
  • Single individuals who are at least 25 years old
  • Couples or individuals who are not more than 50 years old
  • Individuals who have been medically certified as fit to care for a child
  • Individuals who have been assessed as suitable to adopt by an accredited adoption agency or the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development
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Choosing an Adoption Agency

Choosing the right adoption agency is critical in the adoption process. In Nigeria, there are several accredited adoption agencies that provide adoption services. These agencies are licensed by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and are responsible for screening prospective adoptive parents, matching them with suitable children, and facilitating the adoption process. It is essential to do your research and choose an agency that meets your needs.

Application Process

The application process for adoption in Nigeria involves the following steps:

Step 1: Pre-Adoption Briefing

Prospective adoptive parents are required to attend a pre-adoption briefing organized by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development or an accredited adoption agency. The briefing is designed to educate prospective adoptive parents on the adoption process, eligibility requirements, and documentation needed.

Step 2: Application Form and Documentation

After attending the pre-adoption briefing, prospective adoptive parents are required to fill out an application form provided by the adoption agency. The application form must be accompanied by the following documents:

  • Proof of marriage or evidence of single status
  • Police clearance certificate
  • Medical report
  • Letter of employment and payslip
  • Home study report (conducted by the adoption agency)
  • Two passport-sized photographs

Step 3: Home Study Report

The adoption agency will conduct a home study report to assess the suitability of the prospective adoptive parents to care for a child. The home study report includes a visit to the prospective adoptive parents' home to evaluate their living conditions and suitability.

Step 4: Matching

Once the home study report is completed, the adoption agency will match the prospective adoptive parents with a suitable child. The matching process takes into consideration the child's needs, age, gender, and the prospective adoptive parents' preferences.

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Step 5: Court Process

The court process involves obtaining a court order to legalize the adoption. The adoption agency will provide legal representation to the prospective adoptive parents in court. Once the court order is obtained, the adoption agency will facilitate the issuance of a new birth certificate for the adopted child, reflecting the names of the adoptive parents.


Adopting a child in Nigeria is a rewarding experience that requires patience, dedication, and commitment. Understanding the adoption process, eligibility requirements, and choosing the right adoption agency are critical to a successful adoption. Prospective adoptive parents must be prepared to provide a loving and stable home for the adopted child.


  1. How long does the adoption process take in Nigeria?
    The adoption process can take between 6 months to 2 years, depending on the circumstances.

  2. Can a non-Nigerian adopt a child in Nigeria?
    Yes. Non-Nigerians are eligible to adopt in Nigeria, provided they meet the eligibility requirements.

  3. Is it possible to adopt a child from another state in Nigeria?
    Yes. Adoption in Nigeria is not restricted to a particular state. Prospective adoptive parents can adopt a child from any state in Nigeria.

  4. Can I adopt a child if I already have biological children?
    Yes. Having biological children does not disqualify a person from adopting a child in Nigeria.

  5. How much does it cost to adopt a child in Nigeria?
    The cost of adoption in Nigeria varies from one adoption agency to another. Generally, the cost ranges between N400,000 to N1,000,000.