Kenya

March 2, 2011

Alert: Expect Adoption Delays

Kenya and the United States are party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption ("Hague"). As such, all adoptions between Kenya and the United States initiated after April 1, 2008, must meet the requirements of the Hague Convention and its U.S. and Kenya law counterparts. The Government of Kenya is still in the process of amending its laws to mirror the procedural requirements of the Convention. In late 2010, Kenya adopted a new constitution and the government is currently drafting hundreds of pieces of new legislation required to implement the provisions of the new constitution. Due to this legislative back-log, legislation that will bring Kenya into full compliance with the Hague Convention may not be enacted for quite some time.

Until it is, Kenya's Department of Children's Services is willing to make administrative adjustments that will allow it to follow the procedural framework required by the Hague Convention. International adoptions that meet Hague Convention requirements can now be processed in Kenya. However, until Kenya's international adoption laws are finalized, serious delays, expense, uncertainly, and difficulties could still arise with the Hague adoption process. The Department of State therefore advises American citizens to proceed with caution when deciding whether or not to adopt from Kenya.

The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi continues to be in contact with the High Court of Kenya and their Department of Children's Services concerning the processing requirements of Hague adoption cases. Please continue to monitor this website for the most updated information as it becomes available.