Factors Influencing Child Adoption Process In Kenya
The number of both local and international adoptions in Kenya had been rising over the years. For instance, the number of local and international adoptions was 125 in 2005, 178 in 2006 and 225 in 2007. An examination of the factors that lead to successful child adoption would therefore inform the policy makers and the individuals interested in adoption on how to go about the process successfully. Few studies have been done on child adoption process in Kenya. For instance, Mbuga (2008) studied child adoption and its implications on children in difficult circumstances. The study revealed that child adoption process was limited by non-sensitization of Kenyans on child adoption. Lalinde, (2009) on the social and cultural factors that influence legal child adoption in Nairobi, Kenya. According to this study, Kenya has a clear and defined legal process for adoption. The previous local studies did not investigate on the agency factors, family characteristics and child attributes affecting child adoption process in Kenya. Informed by this knowledge gap, the present study therefore sought to investigate factors influencing child adoption process in Kenya, a case of children’s homes in Nairobi County. The study employed descriptive survey research design. The study population was institutions managing child adoption in Kenya. The target population of this study was the management staff of the 50 children homes in Nairobi County. The study used purposive sampling technique to sample children homes and simple random sampling to select the respondents. The study sought information from two of the top managers in the operations department in each of the children homes. This gave the study a sample size of 140 respondents and ten key informants from the government officials from the Child Services Department, High Court, and adoption agencies. Data collection was done using questionnaire and interviews guides. The quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS version 20). The qualitative data was analyzed using content analysis. From the findings, The study concludes that the agencies play an important role in the child adoption process in Kenya. Family characteristics are an important factor that affects child adoption process in Kenya. The child factors also influence the child adoption process in Kenya. The legal requirements factors have a great influence on Kenya’s child adoption process. The study recommends that agencies need to improve their adoption services to their clients by ensuring that they provide adopting parents with good training, timely, honest and thorough information about the child focus, other supportive resources and services which are important to the success of the adoption, moral and emotional support to the adopting parents, accurate background information of the child in-terms of status of their health and their upbringing problems. The agencies and the adopting parents should abide by the existing legal framework in Kenya that regulates child adoption. The study further recommends that before finalizing of the child adoption process, the agencies should undertake an in-depth examination (due diligence) of the adopting parents to ascertain their suitability to ensure best welfare of the adopted child.
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