Adoption is the legal process by which a child becomes the child of persons other than his/her natural or biological parents.
adoption in Kenya has for a very long time been considered a long and tedious process. As such persons wishing to adopt have and continue to experience several hurdles the largest being a lack of information. This article attempts to shed light on this somewhat uncommon area of law by giving a step by step overview of the adoption process in Kenya and the parties involved
WHO CAN BE ADOPTED
he child must be below the age of 18 years and residing in Kenya may be adopted as long as;
● The child is abandoned and the whereabouts of the parents/guardians are unknown.
● The child is an orphan and there is no guardian/caregiver who is willing to take care of the child.
● The parents/guardians of the child have given consent for the child to be adopted (Parent Offer Adoptions).
● The child requires an alternative permanent placement.
Prior requirements to adopt
Some of the requirements when adopting a child would include;
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 couple wishing to adopt,
h) Medical report of adoptive parent,
i) Proof of financial status such as bank statements and pay slips,
j) Proof of home ownership,
k) Birth certificates of any children the adoptive parent may have, and
l) Certificates of good conduct.
To adopt, The child’s biological parents’ consent has to be sought if they are alive as well as that of a sibling aged 18 years and over. Consent of a child’s biological parent may, however, be dispensed with in the event that he/she had abandoned, neglected or persistently failed to maintain the child or is accused of ill-treating the child.
Adoptive Parent: What do you require?
1. For a couple that wishes to adopt you must have been in the marital relationship for at least three years.
2. A person who is married to the child’s parent with the other biological parent’s consent.
3. A single person between 25 and 65 years of age.
4. A relative to the child if the relative has been taking care of the child. This is known as Kinship adoption.
5. The age gap between the child and the adopting parent should be more than 21 years.
6. The adoptive parent and the child must be resident in Kenya for six months at the time of the proposed adoption.
7. The applicant should be in possession of the child granting continuous care for three months consecutively before submission of the application for the adoption order.
WHO MAY NOT ADOPT A CHILD
An Applicant(s) wishing to adopt a child must be 25 – 65 years and should be at least 21 years older than the child. A child’s relative may also be eligible to adopt a child including the mother or father of the child.
Section 158(2) of the Children’s Act provides that:
“An adoption order shall not be made in favour of the following persons unless the court is satisfied that there are special circumstances that justify the making of an adoption order
a) Sole male applicant in respect of a female child;
b) A sole female applicant in respect of a male child;
c) An applicant or joint applicants who has or both have attained the age of sixty-five years;
d) A sole foreign female applicant.”
Section 158 (3) of the Children’s Act stipulates that an applicant or joint applicant may be denied an adoption order by the court if one;
(a) Is not of sound mind within the meaning of the Mental Health Act,
(b) Has been charged and convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction of offences against morality, offences involving bodily injury and any other offences under the Children’s Act,
(c) Is a h0m0s3xual,
(d) In the case of joint applicants, if they are, not married to each other,
(e) Is a sole foreign male applicant.
Process: How does one Adopt?
One can only adopt through a registered and accredited Adoption Society. The stages of adoption are:
● Orientation Meeting
One visits the adoption society and makes enquiries. The adoption process and the requirements are explained. The adopting parent(s) fill and return the application forms.
● Home visit
The society looks into the whereabouts of the adopter(s) to know whether the needs of the child will be met. Some of the things that are checked are…
ADOPTION AGENCIES IN KENYA AND CONTACTS
1. Buckner Kenya Adoption Services
Address: Hurlingharm, 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