The Enugu State government says it will not tolerate the sale of babies or child trafficking in the area. The Chairman, Adoption Committee, the Arch Bishop, Enugu Ecclesiastical Province Anglican Communion, the Most Reverend Emmanuel Chukwuma made this known to newsmen at a meeting of the Committee in Enugu.
The eighteen member committee is made of clergymen, Commissioners, traditional rulers, the Judiciary, non governmental organisations and heads of security agencies in the state. The Committee was formed to check the proliferation of illegal maternity homes in the state.
Improper adoption process according to it was a contravention of the Child Rights Act. It therefore appealed for the cooperation of the public as the committee alone could not eradicate child trafficking. According to the Chairman, the Most Reverend Emmanuel Chukwuma, some hospitals had been closed down because of their illegal sale of babies in the state.
Arch Bishop Chukwuma said that at the moment, only four hospitals were authorized to deliver and take care of girls with unwanted pregnancies and they include, Semac hospital, St. Brigids, St. Hildas and Rex Hospitals. The Chairman advised such mothers to come to the Family Support Programe Centre at Zik Avenue in Enugu for assistance.
Also speaking on the occasion, the Commissioner for Gender Affairs and Social Development, Princes Peace Nnaji explained that these babies when born were first of all sent to foster homes for three months to be catered for under their supervision before any adoption process was concluded.
Princess Nnaji explained that when a child was not properly adopted it may cause him or her disinheritance or discrimination in future because there was no law backing the adoption. The Commissioner for Information, Dr. Godwin Udeuhele on his part said his ministry was involved because people needed to be informed about the adoption system.