Igbo Culture: All You Need to Know about Surrogacy Marriage

The Igbo People are one of the major ethnic groups in Nigeria in West Africa, Africa. They are the predominant occupants of the South East region of Nigeria, with five distinguished states known as the five Igbo-speaking states in the country. Though the Igbo People are spread all over the world, they are known for a unique cultural heritage, which they hold high wherever they find themselves in the world.

Marriage in Igbo land is a sacred institution that the people who understand the cultural value of Ndi Igbo Revere among other tribes in the country and the world at large. The culture of the Igbo People forbids certain practices relating to marriage and therefore frowns at any form of relationship that goes contrary to the proper union between a man and woman, called marriage. Despite their highly held ground on the above subject, there exist specific conditions that the people differ in marriage. This, however, is considered part of the culture of Ndi Igbo.

The Igbo people have a culture that permits Marriage of convenience contract marriage or surrogacy marriage.

Marriage of convenience contract marriage or surrogacy is a type of marriage that occurs between two women.

In this kind of marriage, a widow who has passed menopause, without any male child, goes ahead to marry a younger woman of reproductive age, so that she can bear sons to continue the lineage of her late husband.

Meanwhile, the older woman informs the Úmunna (Clan), about her decision to marry a younger woman. The umunna knowing full well that this is a great sacrifice, are often left with no option but to support her and then accompany her to ask for the maiden’s hands in marriage.

She (the widow) is to pay the bride price and once that is done, she would automatically become the husband of the young maiden.

It is worthy of note that in most cases, such widows prefer to marry a woman who has given birth to children outside wedlock (especially sons), to other single ladies. This is because, in Igbo land, only bride price validates fatherhood.

Thus, the aged widow, after marrying her wife, is given a special honour and placed amongst the men.

One of the most significant effects of this type of marriage is that in some parts of Igbo land, such women are forbidden from having affairs; they must live the rest of their lives without feeling the warmth of a man.

It is also pertinent to note that the marriage between these women is non-s. marriage.

Note that anything homosexuality is an abomination in Igbo land.

The younger maiden goes about meeting men, and when gotten any, would bear children not in the man’s name.

Another significant thing is the fact that a child or children that the new wife bears is/are considered the legitimate child/children of the widow’s husband and he or she bears the late husband’s name.

The indisputable thing in this type of marriage is that the culture has helped in preserving and ensuring the continuity of different lineages.



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