Printer Friendly

Foster parents get leave in proposed law.

Foster parents may soon be entitled to leave days following a bid by Gilgil MP Martha Wangari to amend the Employment Act.

The proposed law would see women who adopt children granted 90 days, just like those on maternity, while men will be granted two weeks.

The amendment to Section 29 of the Employment Act posits that a family, once given written authority by a registered adoption society, may be eligible for the leave.

The Bill is grounded on provisions of Section 157 of the Children's Act which stipulates that a child is placed under the continuous care of a guardian.

'In the case of a female employee who is married, the employee shall be entitled to three consecutive months pre-adoption leave with full pay from the date of placement of the child,' the proposal tabled in the National Assembly last week states.

'In the case of a male employee who is married, the employee shall be entitled to two weeks pre-adoption leave with full pay,' Wangari says in her bill.

The period is the same when social workers normally visit adoptive families to check the relationship between the child and the foster parent and whether the child is adapting to the new environment.

It would require an affected employee to notify their employer in writing of their intention to adopt a child 14 days before the placement of the child in their custody.

The notice shall be accompanied by documentation evidencing the intention of the adoption society to place a child in the custody of the employee.

This shall include a custody agreement between the employee and the adoption society and an exit certificate - written authority given by an adoption society to a prospective adoptive parent to take a child from the custody of the adoptive society.

National Assembly clerk Michael Sialai on Wednesday issued a notice inviting members of the public to give their views on the proposal.

In Kenya, the responsibility lies with the Child Welfare Society of Kenya - a state corporation - for the care, protection, welfare and adoption of children.

Currently, only parents who have a child naturally are given three months leave, for the case of women.

The bill is likely to end situations where children have requested to be returned to foster homes after failing to relate well with their adopters.

The law allows only couples who have been married for over three years to adopt a child, and with the consent of biological parents.

The age gap between the adopting parent and the child is currently capped at over 21 years with the parties having stayed in Kenya for over six months.

Kenya banned intra-country adoptions on grounds it risked being abused by child traffickers posing as adoption agencies.

Children under 18 years of age are eligible for adoption as long as they are abandoned, orphaned or given up by their parents.

Wangari's proposal comes in the wake of concerns that weak adoption laws have exposed hundreds of Kenyan children to abuse and exploitation.

A report by a committee of experts appointed by the Labour ministry in December 2017 revealed that there are more Kenyans seeking to adopt children that the adoption societies can provide.

It stated that for every one child available for adoption, there are six Kenyan parents waiting to adopt them.

'The country only meets 15 per cent of children requests by local adoptive parents,' the report by the committee which was chaired by Lydiah Muiru said.
COPYRIGHT 2019 Knowledge Bylanes
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2019 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Apr 13, 2019
Previous Article:Former CUEA don to testify afresh.
Next Article:State sets aside Sh150m for feared floods.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2022 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |