There are essentially two stages to this process. The formal application to the relevant authority; for example:
The Director, Child Development Department, Ministry of Women Affairs and Child Development, Imo State.
ii. A formal application to the competent court (usually the magistrate court).
Anyone wishing to adopt a child within the ambit of the law must first and foremost lodge an application addressed in the manner described above with relevant authority of the particular state or Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The applicant fills and submits the copies of birth certificate of the child, medical certificate of fitness of the child and the adopting obtained from a recognised government hospital, a jumbo-size photograph of the child, passport photographs of the adopting parents, employment letter from applicant’s employers, affidavit of record/means deposed to by the applicant (Must disclose other facts relevant to the application), consent letter from the biological parents (where applicable), power of attorney (where adopting parents are represented by a lawyer).
However, at the point of submission of the application, the applicant is required to make statutory payment which varies from state to state.
When the application together with the accompanying documents has been properly presented to the satisfaction of the child welfare officer, a formal application is then made to the court.
The hearing of the application may be in open court or in chambers and where the court is satisfied, it makes an award granting custody to the applicant as prayed, otherwise the application would be struck out.