NOTE: The Kenya program has been closed until further notice from the Kenyan government. About Kenya’s History
America World (AWAA) began working in Kenya in 2011. Our program staff have traveled to Kenya and met with adoption societies, adoption lawyers and Kenyan government officials involved in the adoption process. We are partnering with Kenyan Children’s Home (KCH),
an adoption society with their main office based in Nairobi and another location in Nakuru.
Kenyan Children’s Home has been completing adoptions since 2005 and they work closely with several orphanages.
There are an estimated 2.3 million orphans, and the 3rd highest number of children orphaned due to HIV or AIDS. The children who are orphaned in Kenya may be abandoned or relinquished for adoption due to illness or poverty.
The Kenya program is committed to providing humanitarian aid to nonprofits in Kenya and to sending mission teams to support the work of various nonprofits. AWAA serves children living in the Kangemi slum in Nairobi, Kenya, through our Akiba School sponsorship program.
Eighty students at the Akiba School are sponsored each year, as funds go towards their school tuition.
We have also sent ACT Missions teams
to visit various ministries in Kenya and will continue to send volunteer teams in the future. Kenya International Adoption Process
After completing an application, you begin the “paper-chase” part of the process by completing collection of documents called a dossier. These documents must go through several levels of certification so that they ultimately can be used as the legal framework for your adoption process. This part of the process can take on average 6-8 months to complete. A home study is a report completed by a social worker to show that your family is eligible and prepared to adopt a child and this report is part of the dossier. Once completed, the family’s dossier is mailed to Kenya Children’s Home (KCH) for further processing.
After the dossier is approved by KCH, it is forwarded to the National Adoption Committee (NAC) who is the central authority over international adoption processes in Kenya. The NAC will review and approve the dossier. After the dossier is approved, your family is eligible to receive a referral. The wait time for a referral will depend on the family’s child request in their home study and the children available for international adoption. Some families will be presented a referral opportunity immediately after their dossier is approved, while other families may wait several months or longer. KCH staff facilitates the matching process between the orphanages and receives various approvals from the NAC, then will present a referral opportunity to AWAA. Our staff will call and email the family the information for their review. The referral is the information on an adoptable child which will include their photograph, medical information and background or social history. Your family would then review the information with an international doctor and their social worker to determine if you would like to move forward with the adoption.
Upon accepting the referral you will wait for various approvals from the US immigration and the Kenyan adoption and government authorities. It is expected a family could travel within a few months after accepting a referral, though no timeframe can be guaranteed.
Families adopting from Kenya will stay in the country for an average of 6 months, though the length of stay can range from 5-12 months. You will meet your child within a few days of arriving in Kenya and will stay with him or her throughout the duration of the stay in Kenya. Most families rent apartments in communities where other adoptive parents are staying. The first 3 months is a mandated bonding period where a social worker will visit the family who has temporary guardianship over their adopted child. The social worker submits reports to the court and your family works with KCH and an adoption lawyer to receive the various court appointments and approvals to finalize the adoption.
The court process can take 3-6 months depending on the court schedule. Families should prepare for both parents to stay during the entire process, though in some cases a judge may grant power of attorney for one parent to stay to complete the process while the other parent can return to the United States. If this is granted, then one parent can leave after the 3 month bonding period. Most families speak to their employers and can work remotely from Kenya or receive extended time off to complete the adoption. Families are encouraged to look into their Family and Medical Leave Act rights and their workplace policies on remote work or leave of absence policies. Some families who currently have children in the home are able to home-school their children for the time they are in Kenya.
The length of time spent in Kenya allows families to experience the culture and learn about the history and traditions of this dynamic country. AWAA can put families in contact with local Kenyans, ministries and missionaries so that the family has a community to connect with during their stay.
Our experienced and dedicated Kenya program staff welcomes the opportunity to partner with you for your adoption from Kenya!