Adoption in Kenya – Adoption Process in Kenya
The orders of adoption in Kenya are issued by the High Court of Kenya only, and not any lower court. Once issued, the adoption order is served on the Registrar-General (Marriages and Adoptions Office) for entry into the Adopted Children’s Register and issuance of the Adoption Certificate.
The Adoption Order in Kenya must be accompanied by the original birth certificate of the child. In the case of abandoned babies, for whom no birth certificate is issued, documents from relevant authorities proving that the child was abandoned must accompany the Adoption Order. These may include a police report, a children’s department report and a letter from the children’s home or hospital that held the abandoned baby. The fee payable for the certificate is Ksh. 100.
The Registrar’s Office then confirms the authenticity of the documents from the court and liaises with the Registrar of Births and Deaths to have that birth entry marked ‘ADOPTED’.
The adoption is entered into the Adopted Children’s Register and an Adoption Certificate issued. Children’s Register and an Adoption Certificate.
Adoption in Kenya – Adoption Laws in Kenya
Adoption in Kenya has been made easy as Kenya subscribes to the Hague Convention; an international instrument of the United Nations to regulate and guide child adoptions worldwide and is the general standard for countries that have ratified it. There are also guidelines that are adding this and are made to ensure the Kenyan child is able to join a family while protecting every right of that child before, during and after the adoption process. Kenya has many orphaned and abandoned children and Kenyans are working to embrace them in a family setting, both locally and internationally.
What are the Qualifications to Adopt a Baby in Kenya
Child Adoption in Kenya – Prerequisites for Kenyan Citizens
Different countries have different adoption laws. In Kenya, for one to adopt the first child, the following prerequisites have to be met:
- Must be aged between 25 and 65,
- Must be 21 years older than the child they wish to adopt,
- Is a mother or father of a child,
- In case of a joint application, the couple must have been married to one another for at least three years,
- Single applicants (male or female) cannot adopt children of the opposite sex unless under special circumstances,
- A sole foreign female applicant can only adopt under special circumstances.
Child Adoption in Kenya – Prerequisites for International Applicants
- Only married couples may apply for an International Adoption,
- All applicants MUST have completed and complied with the accepted adoption proceedings in their home country/ country of Residence before applying to LANs. Proof of such approval should accompany the application,
- A certified Home Study Report from a certified Adoption Agency, Certified Social Worker or other relevant authority MUST also be submitted with the application,
- Verification MUST be given by the relevant authority of the country of the parents’ origin that the child will be granted citizenship once the adoption order is granted,
- The Kenyan law requires that the applicants MUST reside in Kenya with the child for a mandatory three months before the legal process begins. Time must then be allowed for the legal process and processing of the travel documents (On average 4-6 months).
The adoption process in Kenya
Before any adoption takes place in Kenya, permission should be sought from parents, guardians or any other person who has parental responsibility for a child. Foreigners need the consent of their courts. Even so, consent for parents or guardians can be dispensed in case the child has been abandoned or neglected, the guardians cannot be found or they are unnecessarily withholding consent, or spouses who are divorced and are living apart and such separation is likely to be permanent.
For a child to be adopted, they have to be at least six weeks old and be declared free for adoption by a registered adoption society in Kenya. Currently, there are five registered societies, namely the Little Angels Network, Kenya Children’s Home, Child Welfare Society of Kenya, Kenya to Kenya Peace Initiative and Little Gems.
The adoption societies assess prospective parents to establish their fitness to adopt the child. The law allows sole or joint applicants each or one of the spouses is at least 25 years old and at least 21 years older than the child they want to adopt. A relative or stepparent of the child may also adopt. Some people are only allowed to adopt if the court is satisfied that there are special circumstances. These are a sole male applicant in respect of a female child, a sole female applicant with respect to a male child and an application or joint applicants who have both attained 65 years.
A person who is not of sound mind, who has been charged or convicted of a child offense, homosexual, joint applicants not married to each other and a sole foreign female applicant is not allowed to adopt.
If the adoption agency is satisfied after the assessment, the child is placed with the applicants. There is a mandatory three-month bonding period where the applicants stay with the child prior to filling the matter before a court. The court, as a final step of the process, gives an adoption order. It transfers all rights, duties, and responsibilities over a child to the adopter as if the adopted child was born to that person. It extinguishes rights, duties, responsibilities that a parent, guardian or anyone who had responsibility for that child before the order was made. The registrar general then issues the adopter an adoption certificate and maintains the adopted child’s register.
Adoption Agencies in Kenya – List of Adoption Societies in Kenya
The Kenya Children’s Home Adoption Society was registered in 2005 by the Country’s Adoption Committee of Kenya, to conduct both local and international adoptions. The agency is one of only 4 registered adoption agencies in the country. Through the agency, advice and support services are offered for those looking to adopt as well as those offering their children for adoption.
The agency strives to place children into well-screened and suitable homes whilst also keeping within the ethos of the society and adhering to best practices and the best interests of the child.
Located within KCH, the Adoption Society caters for children from both KCH and from other children’s homes countrywide. Kenya Children’s Home Adoption Society takes time and effort to tailor services to the unique emotional, physical, spiritual and financial needs of families, working together for the child’s best interest.
In recent years the agency has formed unique legal adoption contracts with many other countries, allowing families from those countries to apply for adoption of Kenyan children through our agency.
The Adoption Society currently partners with a range of other adoption services in countries throughout the world including the United States, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany, and Italy. We continue to explore partnerships with agencies in other countries.
For enquiries please email the adoption society on email@example.com
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