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Qtalk: Nigerian gay man struggles to gain access to his son after breakup

LGBTQ+ Nigerians benefit from the support provided by volunteer counselors via the Qtalk app, which is supported by this site and by the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation.

From the African Human Rights Media Network
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Martins, a 32-year-old Nigerian gay man, is confused about what to do after his boyfriend took their child away and started dating someone new.

In his support request, he wrote:

I think I have been cheated. I am in rage. I am very angry as I am writing this. My boyfriend of seven years took our five-year-old son away from me, promising that I will be seeing him, but now he has cut me off completely.

Though he is the biological parent, we raised him together as our child. For five years, I took care of him and our son, providing financially for all of us. Now he found a silly excuse to abandon me and then started dating someone new and they are raising our son together. He used me. Please how do I get justice?

In response to his support request, the counselor acknowledged Martins’ feelings of anger and abandonment, stating that it was completely normal for people to battle with such emotions at the end of a romantic relationship, especially if they feel are still in love.

The counselor also stated that the reality is that, in Nigeria, gay couples are not recognized in law and so cannot have legal joint custody of a child.

The counselor stated that since he isn’t the biological father, access to the child would have to be negotiated. However, the counselor pointed out that his ex-partner might not feel comfortable with the idea, especially if the relationship did not end peacefully and if he did not seem like someone that he could continue to trust.

The counselor also suggested to Martins that it was important that he attempt to heal from the breakup before trying to reconnect with his partner and the child. That will allow him to be in control of his emotions and mentally stable enough to establish a more healthy relationship with the child and his ex-partner, without the transfer of any form of bitterness or aggression.

Martins is still in session with the counselor and together, they’ve been trying to figure out possible ways to start a dialogue with his ex-partner and trying to heal from the breakup, which he said has made him very depressed.