The recent media reports from BBC Africa have indicated that there is an elite child trafficking gang in Kenya . Children are a huge commodity due to the rise of couples who desire to have children. The adoption process in Kenya is however filled with a high number of corruption and costs incurred, hence prompting the theft of children to satisfy the parental desire. This article brings into light the various reasons why there has been an increase in illegal adoption in the country with a focus on domestic adoptions. This paper will do a comparative analysis with Nigeria, since it has a similar jurisprudence with and there are limited articles on illegal adoptions in Kenya.

The Palermo Protocol defines trafficking as the recruitment, transportation and transfer of persons by use of coercion, fraud, or the giving of, or receiving payment, for the purpose of exploitation (Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking Persons Especially Women and Children 2000). The buying and selling of children has been on an all-time high due to the demand and supply of babies and is now considered a lucrative business. Adoption is defined as the legal transfer of parental rights and responsibilities for a child which is permanent and irrevocable in Kenya (Struckenburck, 2017). The growth of baby factories in Nigeria has become a social menace and is proliferating at an alarming rate (Obioma, 2015). In Kenya, the Gilbert Deya, case which saw the accused being charged with child stealing brought into limelight the extent to which people are willing to go in order to have children (Gilbert Deya v R eKLR 2017). This study shows the socio-cultural reasons why people are for desperate to have children and unwilling to undergo the legal formal process of adoption.

Main Reasons for Adoption.

Children in the African Society are viewed as very important to increase the lineage, to provide security to older parents and in general to seal marital bliss. Long held cultural beliefs that underlie adoption and infertility noted that African culture tends to sanctify natural parenthood and stigmatize the childless (Struckenburck, 2017). Therefore, when couples are weary of trying to conceive their biological children, the main alternative is usually to seek for adoption in order to fill the gap and reduce the societal pressure. Some couples have reported adopting in order to avoid the complexities that come about with the option of marrying a second wife. Child adoption guarantees more security of the marital union by avoiding the disunity characterized by many polygynous homes (Olayemi, 2019). In the Luhya culture, for instance, once a couple has stayed for far too long without having a child of their own, pressure is mounted on the husband to marry a second wife who will bear children for them.
Secondly, altruism can be a motivating factor for adoption. There are people who believe they have a responsibility towards the vulnerable in the society to help care and nurture the children. Therefore, some parents, for instance in the Igbo culture, adopt not because they do not have children of their own but because they want to extend their hospitality to the less fortunate (Nwaoga, 2013). The United Nations Convention on the Rights and Welfare of Children clearly… Click here to continue reading in the February 2021 Edition

The PALM February 2021 Edition 

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