Parents sue Kazungu Kambi for disbanding adoption team

Two adoptive parents have gone to court to challenge the decision of the Labour Cabinet Secretary to revoke the appointment of the National Adoption Committee.

Reginald Oduor and Pamela Kagonya claimed they were aggrieved by the ministry's decision to revoke the committee's appointment, saying the move would lead to stalling of adoption processes and put vulnerable children at risk.

The two also argued the CS unlawfully revoked the appointment of the adoption committee and replaced it with an illegal body. They asked the court to quash legal notice No 1092 dated February 20, 2015, issued by the Labour CS, and the proceedings and decisions that followed it.

They further want the CS ordered to reinstate the previous gazette notice No 15639 of 2013 on appointment of the National Adoption Committee (NAC).

They also want the committee to reconvene and continue discharging its mandate pending the hearing and determination of the matter.

"The appointment of an expert committee is null and void and contravenes the Constitution," said Ms Kagonya.

uncertain future

She stated the Labour ministry's actions exposed adopting families and the children to hardships, an uncertain future and anxiety over the process.

"The revocation of the appointment of the National Adoption Committee has left a vacuum in the adoption arena as there is no regulator or supervisor to carry out the statutory mandate of the committee. This has exposed the adopters and the children in the adoption process to various risks and dangers, damages and loss that are not in their best interests," she contended.

Kagonya also said children adopted by foreigners could not obtain a certificate of conformity, which grants them citizenship in the country of destination, as both the chairperson and secretary of NAC must sign the certificate.

She also accused the CS of neglecting to inform the parties of the changes and failing to consult the stakeholders. Kenya is party to the Hague Adoption Convention and those adopting from Kenya must follow a specific process.