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how to adopt a child in kenya - comprehensive guide

how to adopt a child in kenya – comprehensive guide

This article is about how to adopt a child in Kenya. We take you through the process and the legal requirements.

Child Adoption requirements in kenyA

  • The child must be at least six (6) weeks old and under 18 years of age;
  • Adoption parties must declare that the child is independent;
  • The applicant must be at least 25 years of age and at least 21 years older than the child but not yet 65 years of age;
  • An adoption order cannot be issued for the following people unless the court is satisfied that there are special circumstances justifying the granting of an adoption order:

  1. only one man wants one daughter;
  2. only one woman wants one son;
  3. one or more applicants who have reached the age of sixty-five or both;
  4. only one foreigner.

Where to file – any High Court in the Republic of KENYA

What the court requires:

FOR Abandoned Children

  • Certificate declaring that the child is free for adoption – Issued by the adoption party;
  • Approval of adopters from the Director of Children’s Services;
  • The last letter from the police station says that the child has not been called;
  • Entry order – issued by the Magistrates Court restricting a child from leaving a children’s home.

IF ONE OF THE PARENTS IS MARRIED OR

  • Where Parent/Friend/Contract Visitor (I):
  • Approval of adopters from the Director of Children’s Services;
  • Marriage certificate if one of the birth parents has remarried

IF ONE OF THE BRIDE’S PARENTS has remarried or

  • Place of Parent/Friend/Contractual Visitor (II)
  • Consent of parent/surviving guardian
  • Waiver of consent if biological parents cannot be located (court-authorized waiver)
  • Birth certificate

TERMS OF child ADOPTION in kenya


After being satisfied that the child is free for adoption and that the adopter is suitable to adopt, the court will issue an adoption order.

Duties of the Registrar General in the adoption process


The Registrar General registers the adoption as soon as the court orders the adoption.

To register an adoption, the registrar generally requires:

  • Initial court-issued adoption order – Must have a timeline
  • Copies listed in section 2
  • The registrar will, after receiving the document, issue the adoption certificate within 7 days.
  • The registration fee is Kshs 100/=

CHILD ADOPTION IN GENERAL

Eligibility for Adoption in Kenya

Prospective adoptive parents must meet specific eligibility criteria, which typically include age requirements and other qualifications.

Choose an Adoption Agency

Select a registered adoption agency in Kenya to facilitate the adoption process.

Attend Orientation

Attend an orientation session provided by the adoption agency to understand the adoption process, requirements, and potential challenges.

Home Study Assessment

A social worker will conduct a home study assessment to evaluate your suitability as adoptive parents.

The assessment will include an evaluation of your living conditions and your readiness to adopt.

Formal Application

Submit a formal adoption application to the adoption agency, including all necessary documents and information.

Approval and Waiting List

If your application is approved, you will be placed on a waiting list for a suitable child.

Matching with a Child

When a suitable match is found, the adoption agency will present the child’s profile for your consideration.

If you agree, a meeting with the child may be arranged.

Legal Adoption Process

Initiate the legal adoption process by filing a petition in the Kenyan court.

The court will review the case and make a determination based on the child’s best interests.

Consent and Birth Parents

The consent of the birth parents is required for adoption. If this is not possible, the court will address this issue.

Child’s Welfare Report

The adoption agency will prepare a child’s welfare report to present to the court, containing the child’s background and well-being.

Court Hearing

Attend a court hearing where the judge will review the case and issue an adoption order if all requirements are met.

Post-Placement Visits

After the adoption order is issued, post-placement visits by a social worker may be necessary to ensure the child’s adjustment to the new environment.

Legalization of Adoption

The court will issue a legal certificate of adoption after successful post-placement visits.

New Birth Certificate

Apply for a new birth certificate for the child with your names as the legal parents.

Adoption Certificate

Apply for an adoption certificate from the Adoption Society of Kenya (ASK).

faqs about child adoption in kenya

1. Who is eligible to adopt a child in Kenya?

Prospective adoptive parents in Kenya should generally be at least 25 years old and at least 21 years older than the child they wish to adopt. Other eligibility criteria may apply depending on the specific adoption agency and Kenyan adoption laws.

2. Can foreigners adopt children in Kenya?

Yes, foreigners can adopt children in Kenya. However, they must meet the eligibility criteria and follow the legal adoption process as outlined by Kenyan adoption laws.

3. How long does the adoption process in Kenya usually take?

The adoption process timeline in Kenya can vary widely. It often depends on factors such as the availability of suitable children, court proceedings, and the efficiency of the adoption agency. It’s essential to be prepared for a potentially lengthy process.

4. What is the role of adoption agencies in Kenya?

Adoption agencies in Kenya play a crucial role in facilitating adoptions. They help prospective adoptive parents with the application process, home study assessments, matching with a child, and providing support throughout the legal procedures.

5. Is it possible to adopt a child without the consent of the birth parents?

Ideally, the consent of the birth parents is required for adoption in Kenya. However, in cases of abandonment or other legal reasons, the court may address the issue of consent. It is a complex legal matter that should be discussed with legal professionals.

6. What documents are typically required for adoption in Kenya?

The specific document requirements may vary depending on the adoption agency and the court, but common documents often include birth certificates, marriage certificates (if applicable), medical reports, police clearance certificates, and financial statements.

7. Can adopted children maintain contact with their birth families in Kenya?

In Kenya, open adoption, where contact with birth families is maintained, is becoming more accepted. However, the level of contact allowed may vary from case to case and will typically be determined during the adoption process and court proceedings.

8. What are the costs associated with adopting a child in Kenya?

The costs of adoption in Kenya can vary significantly. Expenses may include application fees, home study assessments, legal fees, court costs, and any other related costs. Prospective adoptive parents should discuss the financial aspects with their chosen adoption agency.

9. Are there post-placement requirements for adoptive families in Kenya?

Yes, post-placement visits by a social worker are often required to ensure that the adopted child is adjusting well to their new environment. The frequency and duration of these visits may vary.

10. How do I apply for a new birth certificate and adoption certificate after the adoption is finalized?

After the court issues the adoption order, you can apply for a new birth certificate for the child with your names as the legal parents. You should also apply for an adoption certificate from the Adoption Society of Kenya (ASK) to formalize the adoption.

Please note that adoption procedures and requirements may evolve over time, so it’s essential to consult with a reputable adoption agency or the Kenyan government for the most current information and guidance.

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