1.1Background to the Study
When parents set up a home and have a family, they naturally hope to create a
happy environment in which their children can grow up (Pamela, 2000). According to Mallum (2002) the home plays an important role in the child‟s personality development. Parents are expected to be with their children throughout the years of child upbringing. In the traditional family setting, the man was a bread winner; this gave the woman the opportunity to remain at home with the children. Igba (2006) emphasized that children should be cared for by both parents and that children should not be separated from either or both parents against their will. This is not so in the state where death, divorce, illness and employment have separated many children from their parents, leaving the custody of the child in the hand of one parent, relatives or nonrelatives.
The Family Law Series of Canada (2009) specified that custody is the right to make the important decisions about the care and upbringing of the child. Moreover, it is a child‟s biological or adoptive parent who gets custody but in some cases, other family members who are regarded as third party. For the purpose of this study, third party custody includes family members and non-family members. In the Nigerian context, it is common for non relations to take custody of a child who serves as a house help. This could be done in agreement with the parents or relations of the child.