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Adoption: access to a loving home

Adoption: access to a loving home

Every child deserves to be brought up in a loving, and kind home. Most children, growing in orphanages, do not get to experience parental love and care until after they are adopted.

Trizah is a middle aged  mother of two, whose love for children is unending. Motherhood for her stretches beyond biological ties to anyone who raises and brings up a child into a responsible being. She adopted two daughters one staying away from her as she is over eighteen and is trying to make ends meet. The younger one is a six year old whom she adopted while she was eight months. She placed her request to adopt a child and was able to get one after two years. Her dream of adopting a child had become a reality.

What were the requirements for adoption? 

I first visited an agency in Mombasa, and underwent a pre-counselling session as they wanted to establish my intention for adoption. Thereafter, filled out a very detailed form costing Ksh. 1,000 on my background, and financial information. Had to get two referees to vouch for my character, skills and abilities. I  then underwent several medical tests before being on the waiting list to be placed with a child.

How was the experience for you?

It was lengthy, although my case is different  as the laws were changed mid way. This then meant I had to restart the whole process afresh. I had made up my mind on adopting a child and I made sure I attained that. The baby was brought to me at seven months for us to bond, and “Maua” (name changed) officially became mine at eight months.

What was the reaction of your friends and relatives about the adoption?

If I were one who views life through the lengths of other people with negative perception on matters particularly adoption, I never would have adopted my bundle of joy. My friends and family were so much against the adoption stating that the child may become rebellious once grown, but all this reactions fell on a dead ear.  I always told them, a child is a clean slate; you deposit into their hearts and character as you raise them. Therefore, raise them prayerfully.

How was your first experience as Maua’s mother?

It was beautiful. Maua did not have any problems adjusting or fitting into my social space. I am above all grateful to my church support group that stood by me through it all and prayed with me.  The first few months, we struggled with her immunity and were in and out of hospital, because she didn’t suckle. Again, I was mentally prepared for it all. Good thing with Maua is that she isn’t selective when it comes to food, she eats everything. Children reciprocate what they receive, when they are loved unconditionally, they love back endlessly, the same applies to Maua.

Does Maua know she is adopted?

I always want her to know that she is adopted, because I would rather she hears it from me, than from someone else. Whenever, I bring up the adoption conversation, Maua is always disinterested, but this is a conversation I will continue having with her and give her ample time to adjust and come in to terms. I want to be involved in every stage of her life.

 What is your feeling towards Maua tracing her roots after she is grown?

When she will be grown and starts, tracing her roots, I’m praying that God gives me a heart to walk with her while doing it. I know I will be hurt, but I want to do what is in her best interest. To me, Maua will always be my daughter.

What challenges have you experienced in raising Maua?

The birth certificate application process was a hustle because we were not through with the adoption paper work. When I was enrolling her for school, it was quite hectic because she did not have a birth certificate and needed to apply one for her. Two schools could not admit her.  It is my wish, that when the government formulates rules, they consider different circumstances like those of adopted children.

What would you suggest to be done differently, in matters adoption?

I’m not sure they have constituted a children adoption committee. I kind of feel, matters adoption are not given urgency like the way other matters are given. Children officers should be motivated because they are dealing with a vulnerable group and it is only fair if they are well compensated and supported fully.

We would like the government to consider having an adoptive parent in the children’s committee as we will know that someone has our voice.

Any word for anyone looking to adopt a child?

I would like encourage anyone  thinking of adoption. They need to do a self audit to be sure that they want to adopt and be sure that it is what they want. Once, decided, they should turn a deaf ear to the society’s opinion and stigma associated with adoption. We have a support group called “adoptive parents” and would encourage them to find one and enroll for support.

I would also like to call out on married couples and single men to adopt children as we have so many boys unlike girls in orphanages waiting for people to adopt them. Single ladies should also come out to adopt, although baby girls are not as many as boys in the orphanages and singles cannot adopt children of the opposite sex. Let us give these children a home to grow up in and not leave them in orphanages.

Give a child the chance to belong

Give a child the chance to belong

“We support adoption because we advocate for every child to have a family which brings a sense of identity”, says Caroline Boraya, Project Officer, Changing The Way We Care project at Kesho Kenya during an interview.
What does adoption mean for a child?

Caroline Boraya

Caroline Boraya: “It means hope, a home to grow up in, with a loving and nurturing family for steady growth and development.”

What is adoption?

“Adoption is a legal process by which a child becomes the child of individuals other than his or her biological parents.”

How open are Kenyans to adoption?

“Many people shy away because the of administrative process, and the fees connected to the legal process are too high for them. Additionally, Kenyan society still has a negative perception towards an adopted child. They see them as outsiders, especially when it comes to questions of inheritance and succession. Adoption is a grey area; due to cultural reasons, people are afraid of speaking up to avoid being marginalized.”

Is it difficult to adopt a child in Kenya?

Adoption means for a child to have a sense of belonging, security and identity.

“Yes and no. When you make your mind up, you need to be ready to go through a long process which takes at least 6 months. You need to have the financial means and a lawyer. A registered adoption society can take you through both legal and social processes.”

Any other requirements? “If one is single, one can adopt when they are between 25 and 65 years old. A couple that wishes to adopt must have been married for at least three years. Before the adoption process starts, one needs to reveal their social status, family background, health, living standards and must notAhave been convicted of any criminal offenses.”

.Where can those interested in adopting a child get advice from?

“They can go to any children office at the Sub County level. They can also explore various adoption agencies in Kenya.”
Your last remarks to those considering adoption?
“I would wish to encourage anyone looking to adopt to contact an adoption agency and start the process so as to give most, if not all children a chance to belong to a family.”