A Hauna Growth Point self-confessed s£x worker who gave birth to triplets has been inundated with calls from people who are offering to adopt her four months old children ever since the publication of her story in The Manica Post last week.
However, Melody Muponda (30) says although she is struggling to make ends meet, her babies are not up for adoption.
She says all she needs is assistance to look after her children, either in cash or kind, not for her children to be taken away from her.
“Many people have called me offering to adopt the children and they keep calling even after I turn them down.
“I am now afraid that someone might take my children away because those who want to adopt them seem relentless,” Muponda told The Manica Post on Tuesday.
“What I need is help in looking after my children. The fact that I am now back into s£x work should be evidence enough that I love them and I am desperate to provide for my bundles of joy. I will not part ways with them. I will never give them up,” said the woman.
“Although I am currently going through hard times right now, one day these children will look after me,” she said.
To quell Muponda’s fears, children’s rights advocates have assured her that the Constitution of Zimbabwe ensures that her children will not be taken from her against her will.
Of paramount importance, the best interests of any child include their stay with their biological parents.
Legal practitioner, Advocate Pamela Musimwa said according to Zimbabwean law, no one is allowed to take a child from their parent if they have not consented to adoption.
“The adoption process is simple. You just go to the Department of Social Welfare and make your application. The authorities themselves will connect you to the child when he or she is available, you do not do this on your own,” said Advocate Musimwa.
She further stated that failure of a parent to provide for their child does not render them incapable of looking after that child.
“Had it been the case, all our children would have been taken away from us and put up for adoption. It is up to the parent to give up their child.
“In fact, in some instances, the court or Social Welfare may decline to process an adoption for a child, the reason being if you really want to assist a child in need, you can do so when the child is still with their parents,” she said.
The Children’s Act (Chapter 5:06) states that the first step when adopting a child is making an application to the Children’s Court at any local Magistrate’s Court.
The court will then refer the application to the district or provincial Social Welfare offices.
A probation officer will then be appointed and vetting begins.
Prospective parents will be vetted and put on the waiting list before a court hearing is held.
After that, the adopted child will be entitled to all the rights a biological child has and bear the surname of the adoptive parents.
Advocate Musimwa said the process should lead prospective adoptive parents into obtaining an adoption order.
Muponda offered her services in Manicaland and neighbouring Mozambique before falling pregnant.
She has no idea who amongst her clients is the father of the three children