Child adoption is a recommended alternative form of infertility management. Infertility is of public health importance in Nigeria and many other developing nations. This is a result of its high prevalence and especially because of its serious social implications as the African society places a passionate premium on procreation in any family setting.
The aim of this study was to determine the knowledge, attitude and practice of child adoption amongst women attending infertility clinics in teaching hospitals in Lagos State and to determine the factors that influence their attitude and practice towards it.
A cross-sectional descriptive design was used. Data were collected by using a structured questionnaire which was interviewer-administered. The study was conducted in the two teaching hospitals in Lagos State (LUTH [Lagos University Teaching Hospital] and LASUTH [Lagos State University Teaching Hospital]) from amongst 350 women attending the gynaecological clinics. All the patients under management for infertility at the gynaecology clinics during the period of the study were interviewed.
Many respondents (85.7%) had heard of child adoption and 59.3% of them knew the correct meaning of the term. More than half of the respondents (68.3%) said that they could love an adopted child but less than half of them (33.7%) were willing to consider adoption. Only 13.9% has ever adopted a child. The major reason given for their unwillingness to adopt was their desire to have their own biological child. Factors that were favourable towards child adoption were Igbo tribe identity, an age above 40 years, duration of infertility above 15 years, and knowing the correct meaning of child adoption.