CHILD ADOPTION ESPOUSES AFRICAN EXTENDED FAMILY VALUES. (By Rutashubanyuma Nestory) Most children in African communities are facing untold hardships related to poverty and its associated effects ranging from diseases, hunger, poor sheltering, scanty clothing and ignorance. The number of incurable diseases is also on the rise condemning the poor folks both in the urban and rural areas to be less and less capable of fending their families. Natural calamities in the names of too little or too much downpour and the deadly HIV pandemic have in particular severely encroached on our African extended families in more visible ways than we are willing to acknowledge. Gone are the days where members of the extended family will be welcomed with open hands understanding that family incomes are dwindling faster while expenses are rising at uncontrollable rates. Each family is struggling to put food on the table and an additional mouth or two is a nuisance few can stomach. It is not strange to find even closer visiting kindred are asked when they will be leaving no sooner they have been welcomed since few families are in a position to support themselves financially let alone catering for a closer relative for a day or so. While our living conditions are getting deplorable by the day few have realized the need to reduce the size of their families and plan to live within their means resulting into a proliferation of unplanned pregnancies, undesired offspring and irresponsible young parents. It is still astonishing to find a couple who are not sure when they will have a next meal but are working very hard in the bedroom to expand their clan name of all the names! If you ask them how they are planning to support their anticipated expanded families their answer is all too astounding to fathom: Kila mtoto anakuja na bahati yake- loosely rendition is each child comes with her kismet! The proponents of rise in population believe that more people on earth will force technological changes which will lead to the sustenance of the increases in human populations. This school of thought believes human beings are generally lazy and hence they need environmental pressures to resolve whatever problems they encounter. While in the long run that preposition may be true it is the short term scenario that is worth some serious pondering. No matter how much we inform potential future parents on the need to live within their means by planning to raise smaller families that call is rarely given much consideration as family, ethnic and religious values to the contrary takes precedence. So in such a scenario then we have to acknowledge that unplanned families are here to stay with us and it is a problem stuck with us for a longtime to come. How do we go to solve this problem? One of the outcomes of the public policy gaps is a creation of a few privileged classes among our collective lot and adoption of children from the poor and disadvantaged families by those who are better fortunate is a compassionate lacking in our African communities in the modern era. The few privileged lot have too much resources at their beck and call and what they need is to share their toil with the disadvantaged children in particular. Not so long ago in the Western World the common creed was that callousness was number one source of unhappiness followed by loneliness among the rich and the privileged. The advice these stinking rich individuals received was to raise and care for the pets whether it was a dog or a cat or anything of that sort. In the searching for that elusive smile in the faces of these fortunate Westerners, the reality was hard to swallow: Pets did not bring any happiness since humans were created to take care of their own first not pets! Out of this observation a number of the rich and famous are falling over each other to take a break from the get rich mentality which to a large extent explains their dissatisfaction of life and high morbidity rates they are ensnared in which their multi-billions of dollars can not erase and they are turning into adopting a kid or two from very indigent African families! Our rich and powerful are watching while they are doing very little to emulate this nobler cause of giving a fragile human life not only three meals a day but also a hope necessary to sustain human existence. It is not only the Madonna who can do the right thing and lead by example in taking care of human species at the individual level, we Africans can reincarnate the African value systems and do the same rather than criticizing those who selflessly are tending the ones they hardly know. Is it not nobler to love thy neighbour in the same way we love self?