By Kendi Latoya

Child adoption can be a long and tedious process in Kenya, if you do not have the right information and counsel to assist in the said process. This Article will seek to shed light on the process and provide a step-by-step procedure. For a child to be adopted, they have to be at least 6 weeks old and declared free by a registered adoption society. A certificate is then issued, where the child is released to the applicants for a compulsory foster care awaiting adoption, for a period of three months. A foster care agreement is executed.

The applicant and the child are also evaluated by a registered adoption society in Kenya. Home visits are also conducted to ensure that the applicant is capable of taking care of the child. After the three-month period the applicant can thereafter proceed to court for an order of adoption. It is a requirement that one of the applicants must be at least 25 years old, be at least 21 years older than the child, should not be 65 years and above. A relative of the child or parent of the child are also eligible to adopt. There are persons who are exempted from adoption orders unless in special cases where the court is justified to issue an adoption order. The exempted persons are:

a. Sole male applicant in respect of a female child;

b. Sole female applicant in respect of a male child;

c. An applicant or joint applicants who have attained the age of 65 years;

d. A sole foreign female applicant;

e. Joint applicants who are not married to each other;

f. A sole foreign male applicant;

g. A person of unsound mind in accordance with the Mental Health Act;

h. A homosexual;

i. A person 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.

Once all the parameters are met, an application to court for an adoption order is thereafter made. Depending on the status of the child, the following consents are required:

i. Consent of the parents or guardian of the child or one who is legally required to maintain the child;

ii. Consent of the parents or guardian of the mother of the child in instances where the child is born out of wedlock and has not attained the age of majority;

iii. Consent of the father, where he has attained parental responsibility of a child born out of wedlock;

iv. Consent of the other spouse, in cases where the application is by one spouse;

v. in the case of two spouses who are not resident or Kenyan citizens, consent of the court or a government authority where one or both of the spouses are resident authorizing them to adopt a foreign child

vi. Consent of the child, where he has attained 14 years.

The court is required to determine the eligibility of the applicant on the basis of evidence provided before it. Once the court is satisfied, an adoption order is issued and entered in the adopted children registrar. All rights, responsibilities, duties and obligations are thereafter transferred to the applicants therein.

In case of any queries on the above subject, kindly contact us on: info@kendikadvocates.co.ke or call us on +254768028504