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Adoption is a process of permanently but legally bringing up a child whom is not born of your flesh and blood but of someone else.

When conducted in accordance to the law, the parental responsibilities are transferred from one parent (Either the biological parent or the child’s guardian) to another parent who agrees to provide the child with a home.

A legal adoption order has the effect of terminating the parental rights of the birth mother and father, while transferring the parental rights and responsibilities to the adoptive parents. For this reason, an adopted child is with all due respect regarded as the child of the adoptive parent/s.

Adoption is the ultimate act of love, providing a permanent or stable family life for a child or children who would otherwise be deprived of one.

An adoption order is irrevocable.


The desire for people to be parents is inherent; the ability however is not available to everybody. Various barriers exist that may limit people’s ability to conceive children biologically and for many, adoption becomes a viable option through which they may get to experience the fulfillment of parenting.

Apart from physiological constraints, there are other reasons that people may want to adopt a child.

  •  Some people have a desire to offer a helping hand to needy children by opening their hearts and their homes for them.
  •  There are people who want to have a bigger family but are unable due to various
  •  Others want to “legitimize” their relationship with children that are referred to as
  •  There are those who wish to exercise their parenting skills but may not be married. Due to faith reasons they are unwilling to get children out of wedlock.
  •  Some families also adopt when their biological children move out of the homes and they feel they have the space and energy to bring up another child


A family is a space where the child lives and identifies with, where they have a care giver (Parent) who is constant and consistent in their nurturing of this child. It is a place that offers a child safety in the form of security, and ultimately love.

All children deserve to be in a loving and caring family so they can then grow into stable,independent and confident individuals.

Parental responsibility

These are all the duties, rights, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and the Child’s property such as the right to: –

  •  Maintain a child and provide food, shelter, education etc.
  •  Protect the child from neglect, discrimination and abuse.
  •  The right to give parental guidance in religious moral social cultural values.
  •  The right to give the child a name.
  •  To appoint a guardian for the child
  •  To bury the child.

Who has parental Responsibility?

  •  Both parents
  •  In-case of death of one parent, the other
  •  In-case of death of both, a guardian can be appointed by the court or by a parent before death.
  •  In absence of such arrangement a relative of the child shall exercise the parental
    responsibility over the child.


The persons eligible to adopt a child in Kenya are specified in the Kenya Children’s Act 2001 which is the guiding Legislation on Child Adoption. A child may be adopted by:

  •  A married couple in a joint adoption application. The couple must have stayed together in the marriage union for at least three years.
  •  A person who has married the parent of a child can adopt the child, with the biological parent’s consent.
  •  A single person can adopt a child.
  •  A relative to the child if it is ascertained that the prospective adoptive parent has been taking care of the child. This is called kinship adoption.

In addition to this you should be at least 25 years old and the age gap between you and the desired child should be more than 21 years.


Any child below the age of 18 years and within the republic of Kenya can be adopted on the following conditions.

  •  The child has been abandoned and the whereabouts of the child’s parent or guardian cannot be established
  •  The child is an orphan and has no guardian or caregiver, who is willing to take care of the child
  •  The child’s biological parent(s)/ guardian(s) – if available – have given consent for a child to be adopted. This is categorized as a parent offer adoptions.
  •  The child is in need of a permanent alternative placement.


The applicant must have obtained Adoption Orders for the first adoption before a second child can be released to them.

The social worker will visit the family to assess the progress of the first child.

An updated home study report shall be written to facilitate the second and any additional adoption requests.

Your cooperation in following these guidelines will be appreciated as they aim at ensuring that the best interest of the Kenyan children are protected and failure to comply may lead to the process being terminated.


The Kenya law does not allow the following people to adopt:

  •  A homosexual
  •  A person charges with a child abuse offence
  •  A person who is not of sound mind
  •  Joint applicants who are not married to each other
  •  A sole male applicant