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Cover Page

Title Page        -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           i

Certification    -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           ii

Dedication      -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           iii

Acknowledgements    -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           iv

Table of Contents       -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           vi

List of Tables -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           viii

Abstracts         -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           ix



1.1       Background to the Study       -           -           -           -           -           -           1

1.2       Statement of Problem -           -           -           -           -           -           -           6

1.3       Purpose of Study        -           -           -           -           -           -           -           9

1.4       Significance of Study -           -           -           -           -           -           -           10


2.1       Theoretical Background          -           -           -           -           -           -           11

2.1.1    Attachment Theory     -           -           -           -           -           -           -           11

2.1.2    Social Roles Theory    -           -           -           -           -           -           -           20

2.2.3    Socialization Theory   -           -           -           -           -           -           -           23

2.2       Empirical Review        -           -           -           -           -           -           -           27

2.3       Statement of Hypotheses        -           -           -           -           -           -           32

2.4       Operational Definition of Terms         -           -           -           -           -           32



3.1       Design             -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           34

3.2       Settings           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           34

3.3       Participants     -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           34

3.4       Instrument       -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           35

3.5       Procedure        -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           36

3.6       Statistical Analysis      -           -           -           -           -           -           -           36



Results                        -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           37


5.1       Discussion       -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           40

5.2       Implications/Recommendations          -           -           -           -           -           41

5.3       Limitation of the Study          -           -           -           -           -           -           42

5.4       Conclusion and Summary       -           -           -           -           -           -           42

References                  -           -           -           -           -           -           -           44






Table                                      Title                                                                Page

I                       Summary table of harmonic Mean showing

differences in Socio-economic Status and Gender

on attitude towards Child’s Adoption           -           -           -37

II                    ANOVA Summary Table showing the Influence

                        of Gender and Socio-economic Status on Attitude

                        towards Child Adoption         -           -           -           -           38


The study investigated the influence of gender and socio-economic status on attitude towards child adoption among adult working in Ministry of Education, Health, Sport &Youth Development and Internal Revenue Service from the Resident of Uyo metropolis. Two hundred and fifty three (n-253) participants were selected using purposive sampling technique. The study employed 2x2 factorial design and thus hypotheses related to gender and socio-economic status in relation to child adoption were tested. A 2-way ANOVA of unequal samples sizes were adopted for the analyses of data generated. Results showed that gender exerts a significant influence on child adoption (F (1,249) = 3.97, P< .05).Thus the first hypothesis that predicted a significant influence of gender on child adoption was accepted. The second hypothesis which predicted a significant influence of socio-economic status on child adoption was rejected (F (1,249) = 0.28, P> .05). There was no interaction effect of gender and socio-economic status on child adoption. The findings were discussed with reference to previous studies and implications of the studies were presented.







Every child is a gift from nature, but not all those that can give birth are able or willing to nurture their children to adulthood. All over the world, the tears of millions of children who cry out for people they can call their parents, and the tears of childless families are wiped away through child adoption. Child adoption also satisfies the yearnings of both motherless babies and childless couples.

Child Adoption is a procedure by which people legally assume the role of parents for a person who is not their biological child. Adopted children become full members of their adopted family and have the same legal status as biological children (Sklar, Steven, & Wasserman, 2009). Although recent advances in reproductive technologies are helping more couples than ever before to achieve their procreative goals but the successful outcome of the treatment would depend on the aetiological factors for infertility, available diagnostic tools, skills of the attending physician and above all the financial status of the couple. Child adoption is the legal act of permanently placing children with a parent or parents other than their biological parents. In this case, the adopted child is permanently separated from his or her biological parents and becomes the legitimate child of his or her adoptive parents with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities that are attached to the relationship. Manali (2004) defines child adoption as a legal procedure that makes the birth child of one man and woman the legal child of someone else. Highlighting more on the concept of child adoption, the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) explains that it is a process whereby an individual assumes the parenting for another, and in so doing, permanently transfers all the rights and responsibilities along with filiations from the biological parent(s) to adoptive ones. The process of adoption therefore effects a permanent change in status and requires societal recognition either through legal or religious sanction.

Prospective adoptive parents who want to adopt may do so through public or private agencies or through independent contact with a child’s biological parent(s). In Canada, each province’s or territory’s government is responsible for facilitating public adoptions within their own borders. These adoptions are free of cost for the adoptive applicants (Government of Ontario, 2010). In the United States, adoption procedures are dictated by each individual state (Cornell University Law School, 2010). Most states modelled their statutes on adoption after the Uniform Adoption Act, legislation by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, which is an association that attempts to create uniformity in laws among the American states (Cornell University Law School, 2010). The Uniform Adoption Act indicates that children may be adopted by someone who has reached adulthood and who is committed to, and capable of, caring for a child (National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, 1994). While the Uniform Adoption Act does not explicitly prohibit certain couples from adopting, individual states may have laws that disqualify certain couples. For example, some states will disqualify applicants who have physical or mental disorders or those who have criminal backgrounds or employment instability (Cornell University Law School, 2010).

Child adoption can also be categorized into open and closed adoption (Berger, 2014). In an open adoption, the birth and adoptive parents exchange identifying information such as names and addresses, while in a closed adoption the adoptive and birth parents remain anonymous and so do not exchange any identifying information. There is also domestic adoption where adoptive parents adopt a child within the city or country in which they reside (Berger, 2014). It can be interstate where both adoptive and birth parents live in different states, or intrastate adoption where both of them reside within one state. International adoption is where the birth mother and adoptive parents live in different countries. Private adoption is a type of adoption that is arranged through an individual who may be a physician, clergy or an attorney or even a referral service. There is also Agency child adoption where adoption is arranged through child adoption agency which can be private or public with or without religious affiliation.

Despite availability of the above technology, a significant proportion of couples who have incurable infertility may need child adoption as the only option for becoming parents (Ezugwu, 2002). Okonofua (2003) found out that many infertile couples are cautious of choosing adoption as a way of resolving infertility because of cultural factors like disclosure and the non- specific provisions for adoption in the Nigeria legal system.

There are many reasons why people adopt children. One reason why people opt for child adoption is childlessness which may be due to infertility in the family or death where all the woman‘s children or child might have died when she cannot give birth any more. It is a tradition in Igbo, Effik and Ibibio tribes of Eastern Nigeria that a married woman without a child has no honour in her husband‘s family, since it is believed that it is her fault. This was the reason why Nnuego in “The Joy of Motherhood” attempted drowning herself because it is a general belief that a woman who did not have a child for her husband is a failed woman (Emecheta, 2004) when such woman has ‗failed‘, an alternative step is to adopt a child so that the family will have continuity. Male Child Syndrome is another reason that pushes many African traditional families to child adoption. In many parts of Nigeria, especially in the South East and South-South, there is nothing that breaks a marriage as lack of a male child in the family. In most African traditional societies, the system of inheritance is matrilineal. A family that has no male child is believed to have been doomed. So a woman who achieves cognition and status by the birth of at least one son is considered fulfilled and ultimately accorded great respect. This is because the custom demands that it is a son who can occupy the house, inherit the family property, and carry the family name all along (Ezudu, 1998). Worse still, women are believed to be responsible for a couple‘s inability to bear male children. Some men even beat up their wives for the same reason (Adegboye, 1998). Consequently, a married woman without a son is usually desperate or pressurized to adopt a male child in order to save her marriage (Ezugwu, Obi, & Onah, 2012). In African societies, many families adopt children in need of help especially when such children are relatives. This is called kinship adoption. A child may lose his or her parents to death or they may be too poor or too sick to raise the child up. In this case, it is mostly the grandparents, uncles, aunts or even any close relation that adopts the child and raises him or her up.

The major reasons for not wanting to adopt a child, according to Ezugwu (2002), are attitudinal. Other researchers have also fingered attitudinal barriers in child adoption (Cederblad, Hook, Irhammar & Mercke, 2000; Miller &Hendrie, 2000; Friedlander, 2009; Freundlich, 2008; Zaki, 2000).In many parts of Nigeria, child adoption is still a stigma (Agbo, 2014). People do not easily accept a child whose biological make up is foreign as a legitimate child in the family. For instance, Newspaper reports on child adoption in the Eastern Nigeria revealed that; (i) although child adoption is done, it is alien in Igbo culture (ii) no matter how rich an adopted child might be, he cannot be a traditional ruler in the community (iii) adoption of babies is bringing a lot of problems that are against people‘s way of life and should discontinue (Ossai, 2013). For these reasons, motherless babies who yearn for parents to love and train them may not be adopted.

Research has demonstrated that significant negative attitudes exist toward adoption. It appears that these attitudes may be based predominantly on old-fashioned traditional beliefs. Old-fashioned attitudes are rooted in traditional religious and moral beliefs and misconceptions about child adoption (Morrison & Morrison, 2002). For example, the belief that potential adoptees (especially childless people) should not be allowed access to children is a form of old-fashioned belief based on the misconception that childless people are prone to paedophilia. These negative stereotypes cause people to question childless people’ ability and suitability to parent (McLeod, Crawford, & Zechmeister, 1999). Others beliefs that may hinder a successful adoption are that childless potential adoptees are emotionally unstable, unable to form lasting relationships, self- indulgent, impulsive, and have a proclivity for child abuse (DeCrescenzo, 1984; Kite & Deaux, 1987; Page & Yee, 1985; Testa, Kinder, & Ironson, 1987).

Among factors that can influence attitude toward child adoption are gender and socio-economic status. Females are more likely to hold positive attitudes towards child adoption than males (Ojewole, Onore & Nwozichi, 2014; McCutcheon, 2011). Socio-economic status of people (such as income and educational level) can play a crucial role in attitudes toward child adoption to the extent that many otherwise compassionate and willing people may not adopt a child either because of the rigorous legal and procedural bottle-necks involved or the financial resources needed to bring up the adopted child (Ojewole et al., 2014). It has also been noted that child adoption occurs mainly among educated people (Amobi & Igwegbe, 2004) and even such children adopted by the highly educated are not also spared of the inevitable discriminatory attitudes and practices such as denial of inheritance and the bastard syndrome (Amobi & Igwegbe, 2004).


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