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Knowledge, attitude and practice towards child adoption amongst women attending infertility clinics in Lagos State, Nigeria

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      Abstract

      Background

      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.

      Objectives

      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.

      Method

      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.

      Results

      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.

      Conclusion

      There is a poor attitude to adoption even amongst infertile couples. Interventions need to be implemented to educate the public on child adoption, to improve their attitude towards adoption and to make it more acceptable.

      Related collections

      Most cited references 11

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      'You are a man because you have children': experiences, reproductive health knowledge and treatment-seeking behaviour among men suffering from couple infertility in South Africa.

      In Africa, infertility traditionally has been viewed as a female problem. This study explores reproductive health knowledge, health-seeking behaviour and experiences related to involuntary childlessness in men suffering from couple infertility. Twenty-seven men from a diverse cultural urban community in South Africa participated in in-depth interviews at the time of their first visit to an infertility clinic in a tertiary referral centre. Men had little knowledge about the physiology of human fertility, causes of infertility and modern treatment options. Awareness of male factor infertility was, however, high. Most men appeared involved in the health-seeking process. Men described their emotional reactions to childlessness and the impact of infertility on marital stability, and many reported that infertile men suffered from stigmatization, verbal abuse and loss of social status. These findings improve our understanding of the reproductive health needs of men suffering from couple infertility in Africa. This understanding is essential for the effective integration of male partners into modern infertility management. The need for appropriate counselling of men and, most particularly, for education of the community is recognized.
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        She will not be listened to in public: Perceptions among the Yoruba of infertility and childlessness in women

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          The knowledge, attitude and practice of child adoption among infertile Nigerian women.

          To determine the knowledge, attitude and practice of child adoption among infertile Nigerian women we undertook a questionnaire survey of 279 consecutive infertile women seen in three tertiary care centres in South Eastern Nigeria within a 9-month period. The data were analysed by means of simple percentages and descriptive and inferential statistics, using t-tests, chi-square tests and regression equations at the 95% confidence level. Two hundred and sixty-four questionnaires were analysed. Although 228 (86.4%) of the respondents were aware of child adoption, only 72 (27.3%) knew its correct meaning. Fifty-seven (21.6%) women knew how to adopt a baby while the rest did not; 183 (69.3%) respondents expressed their unwillingness to adopt a baby while the remaining 81 (30.7%) were willing. Twelve (14.8%) of these 81 respondents (or 4.5% of all respondents) had either adopted or made an effort to adopt a child at the time of the study. The major reasons given by the 183 respondents unwilling to adopt a child were: adoption not a solution to their infertility (84 respondents); adoption psychologically unacceptable (78 respondents); fear of unknown parental background (75 respondents) and abnormal behaviour in the child (75 respondents). Univariate analysis showed six factors significantly associated with a favourable attitude to child adoption: a correct knowledge of the meaning of adoption (P=0.00007), duration of infertility >5 years (P=0.0002), previous orthodox specialist treatment (P=0.0002), tubal infertility (P=0.002), no living child (P=0.02) and maternal age >35 years (P=0.03). In a multiple logistic regression involving these six factors, with attitude to adoption as the dependent variable, two factors were associated significantly with a favourable attitude to adoption: correct knowledge of the meaning of adoption (OR=1.9, P=0.04) and previous orthodox specialist treatment (OR=2.9, P=0.05). Although the majority of infertile Nigerian women have heard of child adoption, only a minority knew its real meaning, its legality and the process it entails. Approximately one-third of them were disposed favourably to adoption as a treatment option for their infertility. The Nigerian experience was compared and contrasted with the experiences of other countries. Factors associated with a favourable attitude to adoption were presented and discussed. In the presence of such factors, especially when the probability of cure of infertility is small, child adoption as a treatment option should be offered early so that willing couples can initiate the processes.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]Department of Community Health and Primary Care, Lagos University Teaching Hospital Idi-araba, Lagos, Nigeria
            Author notes
            Correspondence to: Adenike Omosun, Email: adenikeomosun@ 123456gmail.com , Postal address: PMB 12003, Idi-araba, Lagos, Nigeria.

            How to cite this article: Omosun AO, Kofoworola O. Knowledge, attitude and practice towards child adoption amongst women attending infertility clinics in Lagos State, Nigeria. Afr J Prm Health Care Fam Med. 2011;3(1), Art. #259, 8 pages. doi:10.4102/phcfm.v3i1.259

            Journal
            Afr J Prim Health Care Fam Med
            Afr J Prim Health Care Fam Med
            PHCFM
            African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine
            AOSIS OpenJournals
            2071-2928
            2071-2936
            11 October 2011
            2011
            : 3
            : 1
            4565440 PHCFM-3-259 10.4102/phcfm.v3i1.259
            © 2011. The Authors

            AOSIS OpenJournals. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License.

            Categories
            Original Research

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