NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 6 – Acting Labour Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo has appointed a steering committee to review the framework for the child adoption which seeks to among other things set national practices for charitable children’s institutions.,
In a notice published in Friday’s Kenya Gazette issue, the CS named Lydia Muriu to lead the committee in reviewing adoption procedures and develop a comprehensive policy for the effective regulation and management of child adoptions in Kenya.
Scholastica Omondi, Rose Wasike, Joseph Gitau, Callen Masaka and Anthony Gitahi were appointed to serve as members.
The terms of reference of the committee include reviewing and assessing the effectiveness of the existing legal, policy and institutional framework for child adoption in ensuring the protection of children.
The team will also identify gaps in the existing legal, policy and institutional framework governing adoptions in the country and recommend the best practices for child adoption to ensure adherence with internationally recognised standards, The Hague Convention and the Children Act, 2001.
The committee will at the end of its 12 month term be expected to recommend mechanisms for the prevention of the sale and trafficking of children in local and inter-country adoptions and for the effective monitoring and evaluation of adoption services in the country.
The challenges would-be parents face in adopting children came to light in April when Women MPs spoke of the challenges they personally faced in their quest for motherhood.
They told of how difficult it was for Kenyan women who were unable for one reason or another to bear their own children.
Taita Taveta County Woman Representative Joyce Lay was on the verge of tears as she narrated to the National Assembly her experience in attempts to adopt a child.
Lay had to pause several times as she was seconding debate on the In-Vitro-Fertilization Bill which seeks to formalise the alternative modes of conception through the establishment of an authority.
It will establish the extent to which adoptions in Kenya are linked to child trafficking including the trends, agencies or persons involved in child trafficking and recommend appropriate measures to curb the problem.
The team will also recommend mechanisms for the prevention of the sale and trafficking of children in local and inter-country adoptions and for the effective monitoring and evaluation of adoption services in the country and make recommendations on a comprehensive policy on the adoption of children.
In the performance of its functions, the Steering Committee shall report to the Cabinet Secretary for Labour, Social Security and Services and shall regularly keep the Cabinet Secretary appraised on its progress.