Adoption n nigerian culture

The Training of A Child In Nigerian Culture

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Barrenness is a taboo and any woman who could not conceive is called names like a male, a stone or an infertile soil and disgraced by her in-laws and people in the society. On the other hand, a woman who conceives after the wedding ceremony is seen as a fertile woman, a blessing and will be praised. When a child is born, both the family members and the society as a whole have the responsibility of bringing up and training the child. This means that the training of a child is not only done by the parents of such a child. Child training is a communal process.

The first way through which a child is being trained is through the socialization period. Socialization is a process by which a child is taught the norms and values of a society. As a child is growing up, he is taught the language and simple way of conducts. During the infant stage, the child will know things like beating an older person, stealing, fighting are bad behaviours. The child will be taught the roles and responsibilities to be a good member of the society and a good ambassador. The family is not only the institution that is responsible for the socialization process. The school and the religious institutions are also the major institutions that help to socialize the child. A child can also be scolded by other members of the society.


God-parenting is an important factor that proves a joint-effort of child training. This is common in the Eastern part of the country. God-parents are social parents and not the biological parent of a child and they perform social responsibilities for the child. The child is given a god-father/ mother at his birth. These social parents have the power to name their god-child/children. These people are always of higher status than the biological parents. They are always rich; some can have children of their own while some might be with no child. They can volunteer to pay the school fees or cater for the needs of the children. A child can decide to live with his or her god-parents while some can decide to spend holidays with them. Most god-parents give gifts and other material things to their god-children.


Adoption process is not a common practice in Nigeria unlike in the Western States. Nigerians also adopt children. This practice is not only restricted to those without children because those with children can decide to adopt one or more children. In Nigeria culture, those without a child can decide to take in a child partially or fully, but with the consent of the parents or the family members of the child. Those that give up their child are those with unwanted pregnancies or those that do not have the capability of taking care of the child. Also, some god-parents can adopt their god-children. The total wellbeing, training and the care of the child is being given by the adopted parents.

Children that lose their parents through death can be adopted by family members or other people in the society. Widowhood inheritance: a process by which a brother of a deceased man marry the wife of the dead man and take in full responsibilities of taking care of the widow and children. This practice is another way to show the communal way of training a child.

The communal way of training a child has many advantages. It brings people together and promotes unity and social bond. In some places, there is always a joint contribution of bride price, bride’s wealth, dowry by those people that are responsible for the training of a child. A child that is trained by people in the societies turns out to be responsible and good ambassador of the society.

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