Median adoption fees for Kenya, for instance, were $6,250 in 2013, but most of the countries that the US State Department keeps statistics for hover around the $15,000 range. If you’re adopting from Albania or South Africa, you can expect to pay around $27,000 [source: U.S. State Department]. Kenya Steps to child Adoption by Foreign Parents
Procedure Adoption Laws and Requirements for Adoption of a Child in Kenya
- All international adoption applications MUST be submitted through a Registered Adoption Agency in the receiving country, to a Registered Adoption Agency in the sending country (Kenya).
- All foreign adoption societies MUST be approved by the Kenyan Adoption Committee before they commence operations.
- The regulations require inter-agency co-ordination and co-operation.
Apply in-person – Adoption by Foreign Parents
Step 1: Investigations by authorized bodies in receiving country.
- The adoption applicants have to meet the procedures in their home country before submitting their application to Kenya via an Adoption Agency.
- The couples must be assessed by competent bodies/ministries and criminal records must be checked before approval.
- Comprehensive medical examinations must be carried out including HIV status, and fertility checks.
- The financial status of the applicants and their suitability to bring up a child shall be evaluated.
- The couple MUST also undergo pre-adoption counseling in preparation for the big task ahead of them.
- These counseling sessions shall cover the adoption process, length of time, challenges to expect, the backgrounds of the children to be adopted etc.
- This will be followed by an application form for adoption being filled by the applicants through the Foreign Adoption Society and submitted with all the required documents. ( The required documents are mentions in the required documents section)
Step 2: Formal Application to Kenyan Adoption Agency
- The Foreign Agency MUST ensure that all the documents required are in place before forwarding the application to the Kenyan Adoption Agency.
- Upon receipt of an application for adoption from a Foreign Adoption Society, The Kenyan Agency shall forward the same to the Kenya Adoption Committee within thirty (30) days from date of receipt.
Step 3: The Kenyan Adoption Committee
- This is the Central Body governing all adoptions in the country. This committee shall consider applications for International Adoption and shall either approve or reject it.
- The decision shall be communicated to the Local Adoption Society within thirty (30) days form the date such a decision is made. Adoption by Foreign Parents
Step 4: Communication of Local Adoption Agency
A. Communication of Approval
- Where an approval for adoption is granted, the Local Adoption Society shall communicate the same to the Foreign Adoption Society within sixty (60) days from the date of receipt of the approval. This will be accompanied by:-
- A brief report on the children available for adoption at the time, who match the adopters’ preferences
- Information about the approximate length of time that the adoption process may take
- Relevant costs involved in the process
- A copy of the undertaking to be signed by the Foreign Adoption Society before conclusion of the adoption process. Adoption by Foreign Parents
B. In Case of Rejection
- Where an application is rejected, it shall be communicated to the Foreign Adoption Society within sixty (60) days from the date of receipt of such a rejection by the Local Adoption Society giving reasons for the rejection.
C. : Appeal in case of rejection
- In case of rejection of an adoption application by the Kenyan Adoption Committee, a Foreign Adoption Society may submit another application for adoption within six months from the date of rejection of the previous application. Adoption by Foreign Parents
Step 5: Travel and arrival to Kenya
- Upon receiving communication of approval, the Foreign Adoption Society will arrange for the prospective parents to travel to Kenya within three (3) months from the date of receipt.
- Upon arrival in Kenya, the Local Adoption Society shall receive the applicants and direct them to suitable accommodation/residence. The accommodation conditions must be assessed for suitability. (This involves a home visit by a Social worker employed by the Local Adoption Society).
Step 6: Pre-Placement Counseling and Placement
- Before placement with a child the applicants MUST undergo a three (3) hour compulsory replacement counseling/training in preparation for receiving the child. This shall be done by a counselor attached to the Local Adoption Society
- The applicant /s will then be directed to the child/ren already identified for them. A two week familiarization period is recommended while the child is still in the home. The child is then placed in the care of the prospective parents and a care agreement form is signed. Adoption by Foreign Parents
Step 7: Foster Period and Follow-Up/Supervision
- Upon placement with a child for adoption at least one of the prospective parents MUST reside in the country (Kenya) for three (3) consecutive months with the child.
- During the three month fostering period, follow-up visits will be carried out to assess the bonding and adjustment of both the child and the prospective parent(s). The visits will be carried out as follows:-
(i). 1st Follow-up:- one month after discharge of the baby. Conducted at the Local Adoption Society’s office.
(ii). 2nd Follow-up:- Two months after discharge of the baby. Conducted at the Local Adoption Society’s office.
(iii). Final Follow-up:- three months after discharge. It MUST be conducted at the applicant’s home- to observe the adjustment of the child in the home environment. Adoption by Foreign Parents
NOTE: The relevant Children’s Home will also conduct their independent follow –up visits on agreed intervals e.g. fortnightly, monthly etc. Adoption by Foreign Parents
Step 8: Legal Process
- If the prospective adopter(s) complete the placement period successfully the Local Adoption Society will assist them in identifying a suitable lawyer to represent their case in court. The legal process involves three (3) hearings (but could be more). Both applicants and the child MUST be present for the court sessions.
- A Guardian ad litem (Friend of the child) will also be appointed by the National Adoption Committee to safeguard the interests of the child in the course of the court proceedings.
- Where an adoption order is granted, the Local Adoption Society shall notify the foreign Adoption Society within seven (7) days from the date of the order is made. Adoption by Foreign Parents
Step 9: Issuing of Adoption Certificate
- This document will be issued by the Registrar of Births and Deaths once the Adoption Orders are granted. It replaces the Birth Certificate.
- Therefore, the adoptive parents may only get a copy of the Birth Certificate (if available) but not the original. The process of obtaining an Adoption Certificate may take 3-5 working days. Adoption by Foreign Parents
Step 10: Traveling Out of Kenya.
- Insure you have all the required travelling documents. These include;
(i). Adoption order and Adoption Certificate
(ii). Clearance letter from the Kenyan Department of Children’s Services-Ministry of Home Affairs to allow the child to leave the country
(iii). Travel documents(not Passport) issued by Immigration Department-Kenya
(iv). Visa- to be issued by receiving country’s Embassy in Kenya
- The Local Adoption Society shall assist the adoptive parents obtain these documents from the relevant authorities.
- Adoptive parents can only leave the country with the child once the Adoption Order is granted and all the above mentioned documents are issued.
- The parents should contact the Local Adoption Agency if they need assistance with booking of the flight ticket.
Step 11: Post-Adoption Progress Reports
- The Foreign Adoption Society MUST send reports on the progress of the adopted child to the Local Adoption Society.
- These reports must be submitted once every three months during the first two years from the date of making of an Adoption Order, and annually thereafter for three years
- Children must be at least 6 weeks old and declared free for adoption by a registered society.
- Any child who is resident in Kenya must be adopted whether or not the child is a Kenyan citizen, was or was not born in Kenya.
- Adoption order cannot be granted unless the child concerned has been in the continuous care of the adopting couple for more than three consecutive months preceding the filing of the applications and both the child and the applicant(s) may be evaluated and assessed by a registered adoption society in Kenya.
- One of the applicants must be more than 25 years old and more then 21 years older than the infant and less than 65 years old. The applicants could also be a relative or one of the parents.
- Adoption order will not be done to
- Sole foreign applicant
- One or both applicants who is not of sound mind on the meaning of the mental health act
- Applicant(s) who have been charged and convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction for or of any offence against children under Kenyan laws.
- Joing applicants not married to each other
- Sole Foreigners
Eligibility – Adoption by Foreign Parents
Foreigners are allowed to adopt their first child, one has to meet the following prerequisites conditions.
- Only married couples may apply for an International Adoption,
- The applicants MUST be aged between 25-65 years at the time of submitting application and MUST be at least 21 years older that the child.
- Joint applicants MUST be married to each other for at least THREE (3) YEARS.
- Single foreign applicants may not apply for adoption unless under special circumstances
- The child to be adopted MUST be at least 6 weeks old and resident in the Republic of Kenya
- All applicants MUST have completed and complied with the accepted adoption proceedings in their home country/ country of Residence before applying to LANS. Proof of such approval should accompany the application,
- A certified Home Study Report from a certified Adoption Agency, Certified Social Worker or other relevant authority MUST also be submitted with the application,
- Verification MUST be given by the relevant authority of the country of the parents’ origin that the child will be granted citizenship once the adoption order is granted,
Fees – Adoption by Foreign Parents
- Legal fees for processing the process are required at various stages of the application process.
- These fees vary depending in the agency which you use to facilitate the adoption process.
- The validity period is forever.
Documents to Use
- From the existing parents, guardians or any one else contributing to the maintenance of the child under any agreement or order.
- Parents or guardian(s) of the mother of the child in case she (mother) is a minor.
- Step-father who has acquired parental responsibility.
- On the application of one of the spouses with the consent of the other spouse.
- In case of foreigners not residing in Kenya, the consent of a competent jurisdiction or a government authority situated in the country where both or one of the spouses ordinarily resides, permitting the spouses to adopt a foreign child.
- In case of a child who has attained the age of 14 years with the consent of the child.
Guardian Ad Litem
Appointed by the court for the child pending the hearing and determination of the adoption application.
- Safeguard the interests of the child pending the determination of the adoption proceedings.
- Investigate and appraise the court as to the circumstances pertinent to the adoption of the child in the prescribed manner.
- Make recommendations as to the priority of making any interim orders or an adoption order in respect of the child.
- Intervene on behalf of the child and arrange for the care of the child in the event of the withdrawal of any consent.
- Undertake such duties as the court may direct.
Where arrangements for adoption of any child have been made by Child Welfare Society of Kenya, then neither the society nor any member thereof, shall be appointed guardian ad litem of the same child.
The appointment of a guardian ad litem expires upon the making of a final order by the court.
The couple must satisfy the court that the country where they ordinarily reside and where they expect to reside with the child immediately after adoption will respect and recognize the adoption order and will grant status to the child.
The couple must have been authorized and recommended as persons who are suitable (including being morally fit and financially capable) to adopt a foreign child by a competent government authority or court of competent jurisdiction in the country where they expect to reside with the child immediately after the making of the adoption order.
The court may impose such terms and conditions as it may think fit and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing it may:-
- Require the adopter by bond or otherwise to make think fit and without prejudice to the opinion of the court just and expedient.
- Require the adopted to accept supervision by and advise from an adoption society specified by the court for such period as the court may specify.
- Where the consent to the making of an adoption order is conditioned upon the child being brought up in a particular religious persuasion, require the infant to be brought up in that persuasion.
- Where the adopted is not a resident of Kenya, require him/her to avail such periodical reports from a court of competent authority in the adopters country of residence for such period as the court may specify.
The court at the time of making an adoption order in the case of applicants for an international adoption shall appoint any person approved by the adopted and whose prior consent there to has been given in writing to be the guardian of the child in the event of the adopter(s), dying or becoming incapacitated before the child is of full age.
An adoption order or an interim adoption order may be made in respect of a child who has already been the subject of an adoption order under this act or under any other ordinance for the time being in force in any country in the commonwealth.
No body of persons shall make any arrangements for the adoption of a child under the provisions of this Act unless that body is registered as an adoption society under this part.
Time Taken to Complete Adoption Process
Bearing in mind that the adopting couple must reside in Kenya with the child for at least three months before the legal procedure begins, the time an average adoption process takes is about 6 months.
The issue of interpretation of court hearing has just been completed and we are happy to inform you that we are now able to have our own group of lawyers who can help in court proceedings at a reduced fee. Clients are also free to source their own lawyers and society only presents their findings or homestudy and individual interviews to the court.
All adoption orders are routinely made in Kenya prior to applicant leaving the country and upon their applicants fulfilling all the requirements as shown abive. Currently there are no approved websites on adoption that we can recommend but we shall get back to you for our own website.
Checklist for Documents Required
- Home study report of the foreign adoptive parents prepared by a professional social worker.
- Recent photographs of the adoptive family.
- Marriage certificate of foreign adoptive parents.
- Declaration concerning health of adoptive parents.
- Certificate of medical fitness of adoptive parents duly certified by a medical doctor.
- Declaration regarding financial status of foreign adoptive parents along with supporting documents including employers certificate, where applicable.
- Employment certificate where applicable, of foreign adoptive parents.
- Income tax assessment order of foreign adoptive parents.
- Bank references
- Particulars of properties owned by the foreign adoptive parents.
- Declaration from foreign adoptive parents stating willingness to adopt the child.
- 12) Undertaking from the social or child welfare enlisted agency sponsoring the foreigner to the effect that child would be legally recognized as a citizen of the adopters country without any form of discrimination and that the child would be entitled to the same rights as those of citizens of that country.
- Undertaking from the foreign adoptive parents that adopted child would be provided necessary education and upbringing according to the status of adoptive parents.
- Undertaking from the social and child welfare enlisted agency that report relating to progress of the child along with his/her recent photograph would be sent quarterly during first two years and half yearly for the next three to CWSK.
- Power of Attorney from the foreign adoptive parents in favor of CWSK which will be required to process the case and such Power of Attorney should authorize the Attorney to handle the cases on behalf of the foreigner in case the foreigner is not in a position to come to Kenya during the initial stages of the adoption. But note that the Kenyan law requires that both the minor being adopted and the adoptive parent/s MUST be resident in Kenya for at least three consecutive months before the legal process begins and both MUST also be present during the court hearing for the adoption.
- Certificate from the enlisted social or child welfare agency sponsoring applicaion of the foreigner to the effect that adoptive parents are permitted to adopt a child according to the law of their country.
Home Study: Procedure to be Followed:
Every foreigner wishing to adopt a child should be sponsored by social or child welfare agency recognized by the Government of the country in which the foreigner is resident.
The foreign enlisted agency shall also sent a copy of the application as well as all the prescribed documents including a home study report enclosed with it to the Child Welfare Society of Kenya (CWSK) duly Notarized by Notary Public whose signature would be duly attested either by an officer of the Ministry of External Affairs or justice or Social Welfare of the Country of foreigner or by an officer of Kenyan embassy or High Commission or Consulate in that country.
The Home Study being a crucial document broadly include th following information:
- Social status and family background
- Description of home including the number of bedrooms and whether it can comfortably accommodate the child
- Standard of living as it appears in the home
- Current relationship between Husband and Wide
- Current relationship between the parents and children (if any children)
- Development of already adopted children (if any)
- Current relationship between the couple and the members of each others family
- Employment status of the couple
- Health details such as clinical tests, past illnesses etc (medical certificates)
- Economic status of the couple
- Accommodation of the child
- Schooling facilities
- Amenities in the home
- Reasons for wanting to adopt a Kenyan child
- Attitudes of relative towards adoption
- Anticipated plans for the adopted child
- Regal status of the prospective adoptive parents
The agency should carefully get the Home study Report prepared by the professional Social Worker broadly on the basis of the information.
We do have a legal Department which offers legal advice among other services and are very much willing to assist.
- Any applicant interested in adopting a Kenyan child must come through an approved adoption society in Kenya. It is these approved adoption society make an application on behalf of applicants wishing to adopt a Kenyan child.
- There are four approved adoption societies:
(i). Kenyans to Kenyans Peace Initiative (KKPI) Adoption Society.
(ii). Little Angels Network
(iii). Kenya Christian Homes
(iv). Child Welfare Society of Kenya
- Full names and bio data of applicant(s)
- Marital status
- Medical report of adoptive parents
- Financial status
- Child’s date of birth and gender.
- Criminal records of applicant’s
- Country of origin of applicants
- Occupation of applicant
- Reasons for wanting to adopt a Kenyan child
- Attitudes of relative towards adoption
- Anticipated plans for the adopted child
Need for the Document
- Adoption is the legal process by which a child becomes the child of persons other than his/her natural or biological parents.
- When a child is legally adopted the adopter or adopters become the child’s parent(s).
- Legal adoptions permanently transfer all rights and responsibilities, along with filiation, from the biological parent or parents.
Information which might help
- International adoptions can be conducted in respect of a child upon the application of two spouses who are not Kenyans and who are not in Kenya provided that legal requirements to that effect are met.
- International adoptions are processed through an approved foreign adoption agency in conjunction with an approved Kenyan adoption society to make international adoption arrangements.
- For a society to be recognized as conducting inter and the home country, it must be duly recognized under the laws of that country. The society must also be recognized to conduct inter-country adoption in Kenya.
- The society must submit a request through an approved adoption society in Kenya. It must submit all the relevant supportive documents to the adoption committee in charge of adoption matters in Kenya upon payment of the required application fees
The following persons are not allowed to adopt in Kenya
- Section 158 (3) of the Children’s Act, prohibits the making of an adoption order in favour of an applicant who:
- Is not of sound mind within the meaning of the Mental Health Act (Cap. 248).
- Has been charged and convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction for any of the offences set out in the Third Schedule to the Act or similar offences. The prescribed offences generally include defilement, sexual offences, immoral behavior, and attempt to procure abortion, unnatural offences; and assault.
- Is a homosexual; accordingly, homosexuality is illegal in Kenya hence the prohibition of gay persons from adopting children.
- In the case of joint applicants, if they are not married to each other.
- Is a sole foreign male applicant.
Addresses to some accredited adoption agencies in Kenya are as follows;
Kenyans to Kenyans Peace Initiative
Address: Kogo Star Plaza, Upper Ground Floor, Suite 14,
Maai Mahiu Road (Next to Langata/Mbagathi Roundabout)
P.O. Box 30906, GPO 00100 Nairobi
Phone: +254 206 004 461
Mobile:, +254 725 475 208, +254 734 257 334
Website: Kenyans to Kenyans Peace Initiative Website
Little Angels Network
Address: Wood Avenue – Kindaruma Road Junction Off Ngong Road
Phone: 0724 941326
Website: Little Angels Network Website
Child Welfare Society of Kenya
Address: Child Welfare Building Langata Road,
P.O. BOX 43982-00100 Nairobi, Kenya
Phone: 0206003301 / 6006391
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Office Locations & Contacts
Children Services State Department for Social Protection,
Bishops Road, Social Security House,
P.O. Box 40326 – 00100, Nairobi.
Telephone: +254 (0) 2729800
Fax: +254 020 2726497
Website: Children Services