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Wealthy city family in court to keep adopted son from his poor mother

A wealthy Nairobi family has gone to court to get back a baby it had adopted, a day after police raided their Karen home and took the four-year-old boy to its original family in Meru.

In an intriguing adoption case, the mother of the boy — whom we cannot name to protect the identity of the child — had been robbed of her rights by the High Court when the then six-day-old baby was listed as “abandoned” after she was arrested for allegedly neglecting the child.

But despite her pleas that she could take care of the child, the court went ahead and gave away the baby.
Now, the High Court is set to witness a classic adoption battle between two families that could open a Pandora’s box on adoption laws in the country.

CUSTODY OF CHILD

In the ensuing battle for baby TT, as he has been identified in court papers, the adoptive family wants the High Court to set aside orders obtained by the child’s grandfather on May 19, 2018 giving him custody of the child.

The grandfather had gone to court after his daughter was denied custody of the child and on Saturday, six police officers raided the home where TT was living with his adoptive parents and took him back to Meru County.

It was the first time the child’s mother saw her son in the last four years.

The adoptive family wants Nkubu Police Station to trace the child, produce him in court and deliver him back to them.

Police raided a children’s home in Nanyuki on Sunday evening in a bid to return the boy to the Nairobi parents.

The adoptive family also wants the court to set aside orders that allowed the grandfather to get custody of the boy when the High Court had already concluded the adoption in 2015.

Also named as a respondent in the case is the child’s mother.

The court battle will be the first where a family in Kenya has been forced to go to court to get back a child given away for adoption.

ROB POOR FAMILIES

On Monday, the Nation exposed how children’s homes and adoption societies work together to, at times, rob poor families of their children.

In the Meru case, the mother, who used to live in Kibera, Nairobi, said she had gone to a shop when she was accused of leaving her child unattended.

She was taken to court and remanded at Langata Women’s Prison for close to nine months. It was during her incarceration that her child was given away for adoption.

While adoption cannot take place where family members are willing to take care of a child, the case of baby TT will cast some light on the legality of forced adoptions.