The Halal Children’s Home, a faith-based organisation, has called for a legal framework to encourage fostering of orphans and vulnerable young persons in the society to promote nation building.
Mrs Ramatu Abubakar, the Vice President of the organisation, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on sideline of the 2019 World Adoption Day in Abuja.
The theme of the day is “Fostering: Secure the future”.
An awareness walk organised by the Halal Children’s Home to mark the 2019 event to raise more enlightenment on foster care awaiting to be adopted.
According to her, fostering is key because lot of talk is about adoption, therefore, the need for Nigerians to actually foster children and incorporate them into larger society towards nation building.
Abubakar said: “Fostering is in line with Islamic Law; the difference between adoption and fostering is that by adoption you lose identity of biological parent and take that of adoptive parent.
“While Islam wants you to retain your identity, so you can still take a child into your home and the child retains identity and you will do everything required.
“We want to let Nigerians know these children are in need of home; although Halal Home takes care of these children, the best place for a child is within the family.
“We are encouraging people to come and start the fostering process by taking these children into your home.”
Similarly, Malam Abubakar Sadiq, leader of Ameer One Umar, a faith-based organisation, said that the fate of children who became orphans was not theirs.
According to him, it is important for us to promote fostering within our homes and doing it properly, not taking children and turning them into maids, but taking them in.
“Giving them love, providing them education, ensuring they have the best of clothes, whatever you give to your own children, you give to them, this is really what fostering is about.
“Unfortunately in this part of the world when we say fostering, it is really a family saying that a man has taken the children from the village, because they are poor.
“Then turn them into maids and that is not fostering, what you do is you built resentment in the heart of the child.
“You do not build confidence and have feeling that they can be something in life; you do not have to be Muslim to foster a child, it involves everyone,” Sadiq said.
In a separate interview, Mrs Joke Silva, a Nollyhood Actor, told NAN that there were lot of children who did not have home and also lot of homes which did not have children.
She observed that people were wary of what society would think and also maids around children that they fostered, for fear of such children harming the family.
Silva said: “I really do not think those things are tenable, even when the child comes through you.
“You do not foster a child out of pity, you foster a child out of love, there is a big difference, you foster a child out of love because you want the best for that child.
“You will want to give the best to that child, as the best that you are capable of emotionally, financially, physically, you must give the child your best.”
NAN also reports that Halal Children’s Home was established in 2014 by a group of sisters concerned about fostering vulnerable children.
The home, which is registered with the Social Development Services of FCT Administration, has 35 orphans and had taken care of 45 children.