What you need to know about Adoption in Kenya

  1. In Kenya the Original jurisdiction to hear and determine adoption cases vests with the High Court.
  2. The Kenyan Children’s Act 2022, Laws of Kenya recognizes three types of adoption;
    • Local: Adoption made in favour of citizens of Kenya
    • Kinship; Adoption made in favour of a relative of the child.
    • Foreign: made in favour of foreign nationals. The is currently a moratorium in pace over adoption by foreign nationals
  3. In local and foreign adoptions, a child that has not declared free for adoption cannot be adopted.
  4. The adoptive child should be at least 6weeks.
  5. The law does not allow for preselection of a prospective adoptive child unless you are a relative of the child or are fostering the child.
  6. Any child in Kenya maybe adopted irrespective of whether they are a citizen or not.
  7. You need to foster a child for a period of three consecutive months before filing the application for adoption.
  8. The adoption application must be supported by a report by a duly registered adoption society/agent.
  9. According to the Children’s Act of 2022, children open for adoption include;
    • Orphans
    • Children abandoned at birth or for a period of at least 1year
    • Children offered for adoption by their parents
  10. An adoption order may issue to a single applicant or joint applicant’s who are married.
  11. In order to adopt in Kenya you should be at least 25years of age and not more than 65years of age unless there are special circumstances in which case your application maybe considered. The age restriction however, does not apply to parents or relatives.
  12. You cannot adopt a child in Kenya if you are;
    • Of Unsound mind
    • Have a criminal record for sexual offence, robbery, grievous bodily harm, indecent assault, trafficking of persons, possession of firearms, ammunitions explosives among others,
    • Incase of joint applicant if they are not married to each other.
    • Sole male applicant unless they are a relative of the child.
  13. The court will always consider the best interest of a child in making any adoption order.
  14. If the application is made by one spouse, the other spouse will be to give consent.
  15. After an adoption order is issued, adoptive parents assume full parental responsibility of the child as if they were biological parents and the child is entitled to all rights accruing to biological children including rights to inheritance.
    The child stands as a child born of the adopter.