Child adoption process in Kenya

As adoption in Kenya is becoming more popular, you may want to understand how exactly the whole process works. Well, that’s what we have in store for you. Adoption is the means by which a person assumes the parenting of a child, from that child’s biological or legal parent(s). Legal adoptions permanently transfer all rights and obligations, along with filiation, from the biological parent or parents.

Who can be adopted in Kenya?

Any child who is below the age of 18 years and living in Kenya may be adopted in the following scenarios;

  1. The child is neglected, and the whereabouts of the parent(s)/guardians are unknown
  2. The child is a total orphan, and there is no guardian/caregiver(s) who is prepared to take care of the child
  3. The parents/guardians of the minor have given permission for the child to be adopted (parent offer adoptions)
  4. The child needs an alternative permanent placement

Also Read: Marriage legal requirements in Kenya

Process of adopting a child in Kenya

Orientation meeting

One visits the adoption society in Kenya and makes enquiries according to the guidelines. The adoption process and the requirements are then explained. The adopting parent(s) then fill and return the application forms.

Home visit

The adoption society looks into the whereabouts of the child adopter(s) to know whether the demands of the child will be met as required. Some of the things that are checked in this stage are;

a. The reasons for wanting to adopt a child

b. The family situation of the adopters

c. Their home area security state

d. The adopters’ specific expectations of the child i.e their age, sex

Matching and placement

A social worker discusses with the adopting parent(s) and an official arrangement to meet the child is made (This is the Introduction and bonding period). If bonding is considered successful, the child is then released to the care of the adopter(s).

Fostering period

The adopting parents stay with the adopted child for a period of three months. The social worker frequently drops by to check on the relationship between the parent(s) and the adopted child. The social worker further looks at how well the child is adapting to the new environment.

Court phase

The Children’s Court then finalises on all the child adoption matters. The capacity to support and educate the child is reviewed by the court which may or may not approve the adoption. The social worker may also give an opinion on the ability of the adoptive parent(s).

Requirements for adopting a child in Kenya

Some of the main requirements when you want to adopt a child in Kenya include;

  1. The child’s original birth certificate
  2. If the child to be adopted is a school going child at the time of adoption, a copy of the school progress report
  3. A children officers report duly signed
  4. Death certificates if the child’s parents are deceased
  5. Letter from the chief
  6. Copies of official identification documentation of proposed adoptive parents
  7. Marriage certificate for the couple wishing to adopt the child, if married
  8. Medical report of the adoptive parent
  9. Evidence of financial status such as bank statements and the payslips
  10. Proof of a good home ownership
  11. Birth certificates of any children the adoptive parent may have
  12. Certificates of good conduct

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