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7 groups of people not allowed by the gov't to adopt children

The government is very strict on who is allowed to adopt a child and has laid out a clear process to child adoption

A father and daughter having fun together

Child adoption in Kenya is a legal process through which a child is permanently placed with a legal parent or parents, transferring parental rights and responsibilities to the adopter(s).

This process is governed by law, the Children’s Act 2022, with Kenya also being a signatory to the Hague Convention on Inter-Country Adoptions.

Here’s a comprehensive overview of the adoption process in Kenya, detailing its types, prerequisites, application procedures, and legal requirements.

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Under Kenyan law, there are three types of adoptions:

  1. Kinship adoption: This refers to adoptions by applicants who are relatives of the child.
  2. Local adoption: Involves children who are residents in Kenya, with the adopting parent(s) being Kenyan nationals resident in the country.
  3. Foreign adoption: Pertains to adoptions by foreign nationals or Kenyan nationals with dual citizenship.
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  1. Must have been in the continuous care and control of the applicant within Kenya for a minimum of three consecutive months preceding the application.
  2. Eligible children include orphans, abandoned children, or those willingly offered for adoption by their biological parents.
  3. Children in Kenya can be adopted whether or not the child is a Kenyan citizen, was or was not born in Kenya.
  4. Children must be at least 6 weeks old and declared free for adoption by a registered society.
  1. The Applicant must have attained the age of twenty-five years,
  2. Should not be above the age of sixty-five years
  3. The applicant, or both of the applicants in a joint application, is/are more than twenty-one years older than the child.
  4. A sole applicant or one of the joint applicants is the mother, father or relative of the child.
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The law provides that the following are not eligible to make an application for adoption:

  1. People who are unsound mind
  2. Incapable of exercising proper care and guardianship of a child;
  3. Been convicted by a Court of competent jurisdiction for any of the offense
  4. In the case of joint applicants, if the applicants are not married to each other;
  5. Is a sole male applicant except where the applicant is a biological relative of the child
  6. Is a foreign applicant except where the applicant is a biological relative of the child.
  1. Visit a registered adoption society: The first step involves visiting a registered adoption society to initiate the adoption process.
  2. Assessment: Both the applicants and the child undergo assessment and evaluation by the adoption society.
  3. Home visit: The adoption society conducts a home visit to assess living conditions and suitability, ensuring the child is free for adoption.
  4. Placement of child: Once satisfied, the adoption society places the child under the care of the applicants for a minimum of three months.
  5. Application to court: An application for adoption is then made to the High Court, accompanied by necessary consents and a report from the adoption society.
  6. Appointment of guardian: The court appoints a guardian ad litem to safeguard the child's interests during the adoption proceedings.
  7. Adoption order: If satisfied with all requirements, the court issues a final adoption order, directing the registrar to make an entry in the Adopted Children Register.
  8. Registration of adoption order: The adoption order is presented to the registrar of children, who makes an entry in the Adopted Children Register.
  9. Issuance of certified copy: The registrar issues a certified copy of the entry to the applicants, serving as conclusive evidence of the adoption.
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This report is a comprehensive assessment of the prospective adoptive parents' home environment, lifestyle, and suitability for adoption. It includes interviews, home visits, and evaluations conducted by social workers or adoption agency professionals.

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The aim is to ensure that the home provides a safe, nurturing environment for the child.

Providing recent photographs of the adoptive family helps the adoption agency and authorities to visually identify the individuals involved in the adoption process.

The marriage certificate serves as legal proof of the marital status of the adopting couple. It verifies their relationship and ensures that they are legally recognised as a married couple.

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These documents attest to the physical health and fitness of the prospective adoptive parents.

Medical fitness certificates, issued by qualified medical professionals, indicate that the applicants are in good health and capable of caring for a child.

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Prospective adoptive parents are typically required to declare their financial status and provide supporting documents such as bank statements, tax returns, and employment records.

This information helps assess the applicants' ability to provide for the child's needs and ensure a stable upbringing.

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Declarations and undertakings outline the prospective adoptive parents' commitment to the child's welfare, including aspects such as education, healthcare, and upbringing.

They may also address the child's citizenship status and ensure that the adoption process complies with both Kenyan laws and the laws of the adoptive parents' country, particularly in cases of inter-country adoption.

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