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Why baby factories are springing up in S/East - Red Cross boss

By Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi
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The South-East zonal chairman of the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS), Dr. Peter Emeka Katchy yesterday attributed the springing up of illegal motherless baby hoems known as baby factories in the South-East geo-political zone of the country to a new life style of the people which is alien to the zone's cultural values.

Katchy, an Associate Professor of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, said those alien cultural values are gradually taking over our customs and traditions, which resulted in moral debasement and latitude in sexual behaviour of our young girls.

He stated that Christianity never encourages baby trafficking or surrogate motherhood, neither did it encourage one to sell her baby for money, adding, "infact, Christianity forbids a Christian from contracting a poor young girl to become pregnant and deliver the baby to an infertile man or a barren woman who might have misused herself at a young age".

He further said that such is already an abomination in Igbo culture and at the same time against Christianity, values and norms of Christian religion.

He stated that there is a law on child abuse, human trafficking and child protection, stressing that only the church can stop illegal adoption, child trafficking and sorrogate motherhood.

He also attributed the vogue for adoption of babies as a solution to infertility and assuaging the feeling of barrenness of infertile women and impotency.

He blamed the modern society for our pretences to pseudo class syndrome of modern class of adoption that is alien of Igbo culture and tradition, which is a new generation of slave trade.

Katchy further contended that abject poverty has created opportunity for this new vogue to thrive by young girls becoming pregnant as surrogate mothers only for their babies to be sold on delivery by available modern trained infertile mothers, who encourage baby trafficking and slave trade in pretence to modernity, whereas it is an aberration in Igbo culture which has made the people of South-East lose their value.

He stated that one of the solutions to the problems is for the clan or village people to be mindful of adoptions, suggesting that every clan, village or kindred has its own ancestral descendant and they should raise alarm about strange children brought into their villages.

He noted that ab initio, the ratio of childless couple was usually one in every 20 and the system took care of itself, but nowadays, there is also legal adoption which is conducted by government ministry of women affairs and social development which has parameters for handling such.

He agreed that there is a legal opportunity for legal adoption, but cautioned that due process must be followed to handle it legally.

On the part of Red Cross, Katchy noted that baby trafficking and child abuses are zero tolerance, adding, "we can't encourage people to do that or else anyone caught will be handed over to the law enforcement agencies for prosecution".