A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Alliances for Africa has urged couples desiring to adopt babies in Imo State to do so through the state’s Ministry of Gender Affairs, to avoid running foul of the law. This call was contained in a statement signed by the organisation’s Program Manager, Blessing Duru, as part of its ongoing campaign against baby factories in the state. Duru said countless times, unscrupulous baby factory owners masked as proprietors of orphanages have dragged many unsuspecting couples into police cases for unknowingly adopting babies illegally.
According to Duru, the state Ministry of Gender and Vulnerable Groups Affairs has laid down procedures for legal operation of homes which must be registered with them, saying anything short of that amounts to modern-day slavery and criminality. She maintained that the sale of babies in any form is modern-day slavery saying such persons should be prosecuted for committing crimes against humanity. She commended the leadership of the Association of Orphanages and Home Operators (ASHOHON) who keep tabs on approved homes and reports any unapproved orphanages for investigation.
According to Duru, on a daily basis, women face different forms of violence which includes being victims of the baby factory where their babies are forcefully collected and sold to the highest bidder. She appealed to the authorities to ensure that the rights of women and their children are protected; saying being a woman is not a crime. Duru called on governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State to put in measures to monitor orphanages across the state and punish unscrupulous baby factory proprietors who run unapproved orphanages that sell babies for money.