The Republic of Kenya is an East African country with over 40 ethnic groups, each of which has its own language, values, and cultural practices. The country borders Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia and the Indian Ocean. Kenya has a rich wildlife and is part of the African Great Lakes region and shares Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest fresh water lake, with Uganda and Tanzania. Kenya declared independence from Great Britain in 1963 and has the largest economy in East Africa, primarily made up of agriculture and tourism. The official language is English and the national language is Swahili. Of a population of 39 million people, an estimated 80% are Christian.

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 orphaned or relinquished for adoption due to HIV or AIDS or relinquished to orphanage care due to illness or poverty.


The Kenya adoption process is divided into three main stages. The first stage involves assembling a 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 stage is referred to as the "paper chase," and takes on average 4-6 months to complete. The finished dossier is forwarded to America World where our staff carefully reviews it to ensure accuracy. Once approved, your dossier is forwarded to the partner Adoption Society in Kenya for processing.

After your dossier is received by the Adoption Society you begin stage two, the waiting stage. The Adoption Society works with several orphanages to seek a referral match for the family. The process of matching a family with a child is called a referral. It is anticipated a family can receive a referral within two months of submitting a dossier, though the average waiting time will vary. The Adoption Society forwards the family dossier paperwork to the government central authority over adoptions in Kenya. They facilitate the referral match between the orphanage, adoption agency, and family, and then submit the paperwork for approvals within the Kenyan government.

Once you have accepted your referral, you wait for various approvals associated with the Hague adoption process involving the US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). Then AW begins preparing you for travel, the third and final phase of your adoption process. Families normally leave for Kenya approximately 2-6 months after they receive a referral and stay in Kenya for 6-12 months. While in Kenya, 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 the family works with the Adoption Society and an adoption lawyer to receive the various court appointments and approvals to finalize the adoption. During a family’s stay in Kenya, they will have the chance to be connected with local Kenyans, American missionaries, and experience the rich culture of Kenya during the course of their stay.

The staff at America World is trained to handle every detail of your adoption process and one of our experienced staff members will be assigned to your family as soon as your application is approved.