Statistics from the population secretariat show a population growth rate currently at 3.21% and a crude birth rate of 43.09 per thousand, which according to UNDP has profound implications on development.
The direly pronounced challenges are on implications are on social life sustainability, urbanization, access to health services and youth empowerment given the fact that the population is exceedingly young.
Against the above backdrop, it is important to note is that we already have a bulging population of over 36 million with 48.9% being between 0-14 years old, and a greater percentage of them being infants. Among the infants, several do not have people (parents or guardians) to take care of them.
This is caused by high maternal deaths estimated at 138 women out of every 100,000 according to the U.S led Global Health Initiative (GHI). Some of the children are abandoned by their mothers shortly after child birth due to an array of reasons, according to the Mengo Hospital based Sanyu Babies’ Home’s Barbara Mutagubya; this is due to moral decadence as a result of poor parenting.
There are over 2 million children abandoned in Uganda. This leaves the role on babies’ homes to take care of the children or they have to be adopted by noble hearted people, this includes you.
On several occasions, babies’ home operators such as Barbara herself have tried their best to help formerly abandoned children get homes. This is basically through opening up the option for having these children adopted due the fact that as a child grows older, they need not live in controlled environments but rather in communities and families where they interact freely and live just like they would have with their biological parents, however according to Barbara, it is not an easy road.
Able Ugandans do not like to adopt other people’s children. In cases where non-nationals are willing to adopt, the Ugandan relatives of the child are not interested in having the child taken care of by noble hearted foreigners, yet at the same time, these relatives (Ugandans) are not willing to do anything for the needy child.
The few Ugandans who are willing to adopt come with excessive demands for instance, they tend to prefer girl children, they always want a child not older than 1 year; they are not always willing to take up children with special needs such as children with sickle cell, cerebral pulse, HIV, disabled children among others.
Also importantly, Ugandans are not willing to undertake the formal steps of adopting a child by giving information about themselves; their families, their crime record, financial status yet this is the only ways a babies’ home can be sure that the child they are entrusting a prospective guardian with is in safe hands.
It is against this background that we have more foreigners willing to adopt Ugandan and African children formally while the rest of us are less bothered.
As Ugandans, it is important that we started taking responsibility of the society we live in. It is understandable that, times have incalculably changed, everything comes at a cost, however, the onus is still on us to make the world what you want it to be thus the statement “Be in the world, not of the world”.
It is therefore paramount that well-intentioned people go out there adopt children and raise them responsibly. There is immense satisfaction in every act of nobility, producing one or two biological children, then adopting one through the right procedures and raising them with the desired values is both an act of grace and gear towards national development.
Ugandans should embrace child adoption and be proud of it