There are times when the adoption procedure is debilitating and excruciating and makes you need to shout, however does as well childbirth!. Child adoption is fearless, and frequently a hard decision for both birth and new parents.
It is accounted for that in any event 300 adoptions occur in Kenya consistently. Besides, seventy-five percent of the received children don’t have the foggiest idea of what they are embraced.
Albeit new parents can’t be compelled to unveil to their children that they were embraced, the best practice over the globe errands guardians with the duty of uncovering to cultivate children their organic guardians.
Temporary parents are encouraged to keep diaries on their received children until now is the ideal opportunity for the children to get to it. This diary ought to have photographs and content containing data from the time the guardians chose to receive the child.
This article, along these lines, endeavors to reveal insight into the adoption procedure in Kenya and the gatherings in question.
What is child adoption?
Child Adoption is the lawful procedure by which a child turns into the child of people other than his/her common or organic guardians.
At the point when a child has lawfully embraced the adopter or adopters become the child’s parent(s).
Legitimate adoptions forever move all rights and duties, alongside filiation, from the natural parent or guardians.
Law governing child adoption in Kenya
Both the Constitution and the Children’s Act are instructive in matters of child adoption in Kenya.
In any matter concerning a child, the child’s best interests are of paramount importance as set out under Article 53 (2) of the Constitution.
Section 4 of the Children’s Act also stipulates that in all actions concerning children whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.
The High Court is vested with the jurisdiction to make adoption orders according to Section 154 of the Children’s Act.
Children’s matters are heard in chambers for purposes of protecting the identity of the child and that of the adoptive parent(s).
Requirements for adopting a child in Kenya
a) The child’s birth certificate
b) If the child is a school going child, a copy of the school progress report
c) A children officers report
d) Death certificate if the child’s parents are deceased
e) Chief’s letter
f) Copies of identification documentation of prospective adoptive parents
g) Marriage certificate for the couple wishing to adopt
h) Medical report of the adoptive parent
i) Proof of financial statuses such as bank statements and payslips
j) Proof of homeownership
k) Birth certificates of any children the adoptive parent may have
l) Certificates of good conduct.
Eligibility for adopting a child
1. In Kenya, a child cannot be adopted unless the child is at least six (6) weeks old and has been declared free for adoption by a registered adoption society.
Accordingly, in Kenya, no individual or other bodies of persons can legally make any arrangement for the adoption of a child.
Consequently, informal adoptions are illegal and constitute an offense under the Act.
2. Any child who is a resident within Kenya may be adopted whether or not the child is a Kenyan citizen, or was or was not born in Kenya.
Further, under section 157 (1) of the Act, an application for an adoption order can only be made if the child concerned has been in the continuous care and control of the applicant (adopter) within Kenya for three (3) consecutive months preceding the filing of the application.
Eligibility for adopting a child
1. An adoption order may be made upon the application of a sole applicant or jointly by two spouses.
2. The applicant or at least one of the joint applicants must have attained the age of 25 years and be at least 21 years older than the child but should not have attained the age of 65 years.
Note, however, that the age requirements are not mandatory where the applicant is the mother or father of the child or is otherwise a relative of the child.
3. Generally, section 158 (2) of the Act disallows the making of an adoption order in favor of a sole male applicant in respect of a female child; and a sole female applicant in respect of a male child.
Presumably, the prohibition is aimed to protect adopted children from potential sexual abuse.
4. where the applicant is a sole foreign female, an adoption order will generally be denied. It is not clear why the same is not the case for sole foreign males.
Note: An adoption order will in all the above circumstances be made to the applicants if the court is satisfied that there are special circumstances that justify the making of the order.
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Persons not allowed to adopt in Kenya
Section 158 (3) of the Children’s Act, prohibits the making of an adoption order in favor of an applicant who:
1. Is not of sound mind within the meaning of the Mental Health Act (Cap. 248); or
2. Has been charged and convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction for any of the offenses set out in the Third Schedule to the Act or similar offenses.
The prescribed offenses generally include defilement, sexual offenses, immoral behavior, attempt to procure abortion, unnatural offenses; and assault.
3. Is a homosexual; Accordingly, homosexuality is illegal in Kenya hence the prohibition of gay persons from adopting children.
4. In the case of joint applicants, if they are not married to each other; or
5. Is a sole foreign male applicant.
Consents needed for adoption in Kenya
1. Consents that will be needed before the adoption is finalized include:
2. The child’s consent if he or she is 14 years and above
3. Consent of guardians/ parents or the person with whom parental responsibilities lie with
4. Consent of the courts or relevant government authorities from their country in case of non-residents.
There are certain instances where consent for adoption can be withheld.
I.) First is when the parents or guardians are untraceable because the child was abandoned.
II.) It is also possible to withhold consent if spouses are permanently separated.
How to adopt a child in Kenya
1. Surrender of a child to adoption society
a. Where appropriate as the case may be, the parent or guardian places the child who is to be potentially adopted, at the disposal of a registered adoption society.
b. The parent or guardian is issued with an explanatory memorandum in the prescribed form whereon a certificate of acknowledgment is attached.
c. The parent or guardian must sign and deliver to the society a certificate of acknowledgment in the prescribed form indicating that he has read and understood the memorandum.
d. The adoption society thereafter accepts the child.
a. A prospective adopter forwards an application for adoption to the registered adoption society.
b. The society obtains a social worker who makes an appointment to visit the applicant’s home for purposes of knowing the prospective adopter better and to assess his accommodation to determine its suitability for the child.
c. After the visit, the social worker makes a report of his assessment in the form prescribed under the Schedule to the Adoption Regulations.
d. The adoption society also makes arrangements to obtain a medical report on the health of both the child and the adopter in the prescribed forms.
3. Application assessment
a. The Case Committee of the adoption society vets the application together with the social worker’s report and the health report of the child and the adopter.
b. The Committee then decides to approve the application or to defer or reject the same with stated reasons.
c. The approval intimates that the child is free for adoption and approves the adopter.
d. Once the adopter has been approved by the case committee, the adopter is required to read and understand the explanatory memorandum for adopters prescribed in the Regulations and sign the certificate of acknowledgment attached to the memorandum.
a. Upon approval of the application, the child is delivered into the care and possession of an adopter by or on behalf of an adoption society.
b. The child is visited in the first month and at least once every three months thereafter by a representative of the society, who reports on the case to the case committee.
c. The Committee may recommend appropriate action to be taken if the child is not being taken care of properly.
5. Legal process
a. The adopter makes an application for an adoption order to the High Court of Kenya.
b. The court may on its motion or upon the application of the adopter, appoint a guardian ad litem for the child pending the hearing and determination of the adoption application.
c. The court may reject the application. The adopter may appeal the decision to the Court of Appeal.
d. The court may grant the adoption order which is then registered by the Registrar-General through making an entry in the Adopted Children Register.
International (Inter-country) adoptions in Kenya
Inter-country adoption is a process by which an individual can adopt a child from another country and bring the child to your country of residence to live with you permanently.
On 27th November 2014, however, the government declared an indefinite moratorium on Inter-country adoption of Kenyan children to foreigners.
The decision was informed by Kenya’s ranking by the Global Report on Trafficking in persons 2014, that had the United Nations Office on drugs and crime cite Kenya as a source, transit & destination country in human trafficking.
Time is taken to complete an adoption process
The average time for an adoption process takes about 6 months.
Cost of adoption in Kenya
The cost of adopting a child varies greatly depending on several things.
First, the adoption society you choose has a charge for facilitating the process. This cost varies from one place to another.
Secondly, the charges will also depend on whether or not you represent yourself in court or you use a lawyer.
The standard fee for most agencies is however Ksh12,500.
Note: In most cases, families have been approved for adoption even with low income which goes to show that adoption in Kenya is not about money.
Adoption agencies in Kenya
1. Buckner Kenya Adoption Services
Address: Hurlingham, Nairobi, Kenya. Off Lenana Road, Plot No. 10
Phone: +254202713001, +254733713001, +254710287302
2. Kenya Children’s Home
Address: P.O. Box 44261-00100 Langata Road, Nairobi, Kenya
Phone: 00254 6001 922, 00254 6002 002
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Child Welfare Society of Kenya
3. Child Welfare Society of Kenya
Address: Child Welfare Building Langata Road, P.O. BOX 43982-00100 Nairobi, Kenya
Phone: 0206003301 / 6006391
4. Kenyans to Kenyans Peace Initiative
Address: Kogo Star Plaza, Upper Ground Floor, Suite 14, Maai Mahiu Road (Next to Langata/Mbagathi Roundabout)
P.O. Box 30906, GPO 00100 Nairobi
Phone: +254 206 004 461
Mobile:, +254 725 475 208, +254 734 257 334
5. Little Gems Agency
Address: PO Box 23 North Kinangop, Kenya
Phone: 050 502321, 0722801422
6. Little Angels Network
Address: Wood Avenue – Kindaruma Road Junction Off Ngong Road Nairobi, Kenya
Phone: 0724 941326
Reasons why individuals receive youngsters
Adoption is exceptionally close to home choice. Each decision to receive is one of a kind. Each couple and individual has strolled an alternate way of showing up at their choice.
Be that as it may, here are some regular topics with regards to adoption:
1. To beat fruitlessness
One of the most widely recognized reasons individuals decide to embrace is because barrenness disrupts the general flow they had always wanted to have a family.
Adoption permits cheerful guardians the chance to have the family they’ve constantly needed.
2. To secure their wellbeing
Regardless of whether you don’t explicitly confront barrenness issues, conditions, for example, coronary illness or epilepsy may bring about your PCP proposing that pregnancy may not be a smart thought.
With adoption as a choice, such conditions need not hold up the traffic of your capacity to have a family.
3. Since they love thinking about youngsters
For certain individuals, thinking about youngsters is in their blood. It’s something that is so profoundly imbued in them, they embrace just for the love of giving a decent life to a kid (or numerous kids).
4. To adjust populace development
Some who want a family find that that longing clashes with their conviction that overpopulation is a significant worldwide issue.
Adoption gives them a chance to satisfy their longing to have a family while additionally remaining consistent with their convictions.
5. To pick the sex of their kid
For couples who want an offspring of a specific sex (particularly if they’re as of now attempted a few times and didn’t have an offspring of the sex they had sought after), adoption permits them to grow their family in the manner they want.
There is no rolling the shakers and seeking after as well as can be expected; embrace an offspring of the sex they want without depending on the impulses of The compelling force of nature.
6. To abstain from going down hereditary issue/sicknesses
Individuals who wish to have a family yet dread to pass on hereditary scatters they experience the ill effects of or that run in their family can do as such by embracing.
This permits them to encounter the delight of having a family without the nervousness of possibly passing on a disease that runs in the family.
7. To help a youngster out of luck
A few families embrace since they by and by realizing a kid out of luck. Maybe the kid’s was stranded, or his/her folks can’t like them (the purposes behind this could be one of many, for example, fixation).
Whatever the reasons, they may decide to embrace a kid to help lift them from their circumstance.
8. To keep away from pregnancy inconveniences
A few ladies are inclined to having troublesome pregnancies, or because of different issues, (for example, having had various cesarean births) might be in danger for a troublesome pregnancy.
For those ladies, adoption might be a more secure alternative that gives them more noteworthy true serenity.
9. To become guardians
The most straightforward explanation of all, but then add the most significant of all. Numerous individuals embrace it since they need to become guardians.
That is it. They need to impart their life to somebody, and embracing is their best course to satisfying that fantasy.
I would prompt that you look for autonomous legitimate guidance from a supporter who will have the option to instruct you on the specifics concerning your circumstance. Much appreciated.