Kenya

October 15, 2013

Reminder of Kenyan prohibition against pre-selection of prospective adoptees

The Kenyan Adoption Committee has requested that the United States government remind adoption service providers and prospective adoptive parents of Kenya’s strict prohibition against pre-selection of children by prospective adoptive parents.  The Kenyan National Adoption Committee, Kenya’s Central Authority under the Hague Adoption Convention, is likely to reject dossiers and/or referrals for families that have pre-selected a child or have had prior contact of any kind with a specific child, the child’s guardian, or individuals with power to determine a child’s eligibility or placement for adoption.  This could include, but would not be limited to, contact through mission trips, volunteering at orphanages, or other relationships with the prospective adoptee.  The sole exception to this prohibition is when a prospective adoptive parent can prove a blood relationship with a prospective adoptee. 

The U.S. Intercountry Adoption Act, which implements the Hague Adoption Convention in the United States, and the Department of Homeland Security’s Interim Hague regulations require disclosure in the home study of any information relevant to the prospective adoptive parents’ eligibility to adopt under the specific requirements of the child’s country of origin (See 8 CFR 204.311(q)).  Prior contact between prospective adoptive parents or any additional adult member of the household and a Kenyan child’s parents, custodian or other individuals or entity responsible for the child’s care may be grounds for denial of the Form I-800 (See 8 CFR 204.309(b)(2)).

Adoption service providers and prospective adoptive parents who wish to know more about intercountry adoptions from Kenya can visit the Department of State’s page on adopting from Kenya and the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi’s website for more information.