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Adoption

Adoption

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Report By: ISHI KALSI

This article is a first of four which I will write due to certain media publicity that the topics have attracted recently.

On 25th June 2018, a media station aired a story called “Sins of Saviours” which portrayed child trafficking cases by cartels who steal babies from mothers and put them up for adoption. In 2014, the Government of Kenya imposed a moratorium (prohibition) on adoption by foreigners due to the increased child trafficking cases.

While I do not wish to discuss the specific story or comment on the authenticity of it, I wish to highlight the process of adoption in Kenya.

Adoption in Kenya is regulated by the Children Act (2001). The process is the same whether you are adopting a relative or a child from a children’s home.

1. Before adopting, it is important to fulfill the following conditions:

(a) The child to be adopted has to be at least 6 weeks old.

(b) The child has to be a resident of Kenya (though not necessarily born in Kenya) and has to have been living with the adoptive parent within Kenya for a period of three consecutive months.

(c) The adoptive parent(s) is between 25 years and 65 years with an age gap of 21 years from the child.

2. The next step is to have the child declared free for adoption by a registered adoption society. It is critical that the adoption society is one which is properly registered as an Adoption Society in Kenya.

3. Once the child is declared free for adoption, the legal process in court then begins. It is important for applicants to appoint a lawyer who is familiar with the adoption process to ensure proper filing of documents which satisfy all the requirements.

4. Certain reports from the Guardian ad litem and the Director of Children’s services have to be filed in court before the hearing of the adoption matter.

5. On receiving an adoption order, the Applicant must then register the same at Sheria House and obtain an adoption certificate.

In view of the story that was aired, it is very important for any person wishing to adopt a child from a Children’s home to do all due diligence to ensure that the child has been properly put up for adoption.

While the process above is simplified for the reader’s general knowledge, it must be stressed that each case is different and dependent on the different circumstances surrounding the need to adopt.

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