Department: Department Of Philosophy
Chukwuemeka, E G;
The work dealt with the challenges experienced by Christians who hail from Ebonyi State, in search of a child or a particular gender, when the option of adopting a child is considered. It was necessitated by the high rate of infertility and its associated problems noticed among married couples, which adoption have not mitigated but potentially can worsen, viewed from the traditional Igbo worldview. Even as Christians, Ebonyi people still hold on to their traditional values and therefore are in dilemma of whether to adopt a child or not. The work was aimed at identifying those socio-religious factors that discourage persons from the area from adopting and ills associated with various means of adoption, which hamper child adoption. The study will incite cultural reorientation aimed at changing the negative perception about the adoption triad, thereby encouraging child adoption. This will save the society the vengeful attack of the “unwanted child” on the society if they are not adopted and also satiate the need of the infertile Ebonyi Christians. The work covered mostly childless male and female Christian couples who hail from Ebonyi State and some with their own biological children who may wish to adopt children. The family System theory propounded by Urie Broffennbrenner which states that actions and human development are determined by various bio-ecological sytems was used to analyse the work. Also Humphery J. Fishers tripartite conversion theory analysed the historical trajectory of conversion that made the Ebonyi Christian to retain the two opposed worldviews of Christianity and Igbo traditional religion. The work is of qualitative design, which is descriptive. The Study was a phenomelogical study. Data was gathered through face to face oral interviews and personal observation. Research questions of this work were raised in the questionnaire at the appendix. Also secondary source of data collection, in form of books, journals, published and unpublished texts like dissertations were used. It was discovered that religion and culture were significant and capable of influencing a couple’s decision to adopt. Also, secret adoption through the baby factory was seen to be mostly patronized with the ills inherent. The work therefore recommended the establishment of an existing practice in other parts of the world, known as “baby hatch or baby box” to enhance agency or legal adoption practice, while preachers engage traditionalisation in conveying their message to accommodate African cultural values, since they are indispensable in the Ebonyi Christians’ thought pattern and decision making process. By this practice, the adoptee will be quickly and safely adopted into homes where they will be catered for. The teenager who is pregnant with “unwanted pregnancy” will be saved the stigma that goes with her condition and adoptive parents will be able to adopt children within the ambit of the law. Other beneficiaries from the work will include the government who by this arrangement can easily gather data on child adoption and ensure that proper documentation like issuance of adoption order is maintained.