The government has released new guidelines to govern adoption of children in Kenya, which seeks to put in place national standards for adoption and also set practices in charitable children institutions.
While launching the Guidelines For Alternative Family Care Of Children And National Standards For Best Practices In Charitable Children’s Institutions, yesterday Labour Cabinet Secretary Kazungu Kambi said that the temporary ban barring both resident and non-resident foreigners from adopting children in the country was still effective.
“The government has with immediate effect temporary stopped the adoption of Kenyan children by both resident and non-resident foreigners until the adoption process is streamlined, “said Kambi, adding that the move was necessary to protect Kenyan children from child traffickers.
Kambi also called on Kenyans to embrace the culture of adopting children and urged all stakeholders not to spare any effort in protecting and nurturing children to enable them realize their full potential in order for them to enhance the social, economic and political development of our country.
Cabinet approved the ban locking out foreigners from adopting children in the country in November last year, and all licenses to conduct inter-country adoptions were revoked.
The decision was informed by Kenya’s current ranking by the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2014, United Nations Office on drugs and crime, citing Kenya as a source, transit and destination country in human trafficking.
Under the new guidelines, all charitable children’s institutions (CCIs) will be required to have clear documentation and maintenance of children’s records, safety and exit strategies.
It is illegal to publish an advertisement indicating that a parent or guardian desires to give up a child for adoption, that a person wants to adopt a child, or that a person (who is not an adoption society) is willing to make arrangements for the adoption of a child.
SH18 MILLION IN GRANTS TO CHILDREN’S INSTITUTIONS
Kambi also announced that the government has so far given grants totaling Sh18 million to CCIs and another Sh8 million to local adoption societies in order to promote domestic adoption and cautioned that the cash should not be diverted to other gains.
Director of children services, Ahmed Hussein, urged parents to be honest with their adopted children and not to keep them in the dark about their status.
“If the child is not told and hears it from the streets, they will rebel. If they hear from other people they will be hurt, so when they reach the right age you should tell them the truth,” he said.
Being an African country, the culture of adoption is not popular to the locals and only time can tell if Kenyans will embrace the tradition.