Kenya Bans Inter Country Adoptions

The Kenya cabinet has indefinitely banned inter-country adoptions as per the report below quoted from the press statement of cabinet meeting held on the 27th of November 2014.

Cabinet approved “An indefinite Moratorium on Inter-Country Adoption of Kenyan Children by foreigners”, and also revoked all licences to conduct inter-country adoptions in Kenya with immediate effect. The decision has been informed by Kenya’s current ranking by the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2014, (UNODC) that cited Kenya as a source, transit, and destination country in human trafficking. The country is also ranked at Tier 2 Watch List for non-compliance with minimum standards for elimination of human trafficking, based on the 2014 US State Department report on trafficking in persons. In arriving at this decision, Cabinet noted that, currently Kenyan laws did not define child sale, child procuring, child trade and child laundering as part of child trafficking. This has in effect put Kenyan children at very high risk as it creates a loophole for fraudulent, vested interests, masquerading through ownership of children homes, adoption agencies and legal firms representing children, and adopters, to engage in the unscrupulous business of Human Trafficking under the guise of charity

This announcement leaves me with mixed feelings because while I recognize that the safety of the children is paramount, I also realize that over 60% of adoptions in Kenya right now are by foreigners (many of whom are well meaning), so what happens now? Is it not wiser for the government to enforce stricter checks on these children’s homes? The report quotes legal firms and adoption agencies that are putting children at risk, which is odd because the government itself has licensed a limited number of adoption agencies through the Child Welfare Society, and all legal firms that handle adoption cases are under the jurisdiction of the Law Society of Kenya. Why not use these channels to crack down on the said masqueraders?

I sincerely hope that the cabinet will come up with long term and sustainable solutions to deal with human trafficking because banning adoptions isn’t sustainable. In the meantime, let us adopt our babies!

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