ADOPTION, THE NEW TRAFFICKING DISGUISE
Here is a heart wrenching story of desperate mothers whose children have been violently snatched from their grasp. It’s a dark story of a ruthless cartel that has manipulated the Kenya’s adoption process to grab children from their mothers and then trade them for millions of shillings to supposed adoptive parents who pose as good Samaritans.
The cartel racket is daring, ruthless and heartless and here is a lift of the lid of their sins; A mother so pure to giving birth in a hospital is left on her own; to conceal her own identity we call her Kwamboka.
Brave in the pangs of labour, Kwamboka becomes her own midwife bringing her 10th child to the world safely but due to poverty, she fears for herself and her new born baby since they do not have enough food.She steps out to at least savor for food so that she can come home to breastfeed her kid.
On return, she finds a crowd outside her door accusing her of charges of child abandonment. On inquiry she is shown onto an awaiting police vehicle that she boards driving straight to a police station. Stepping out of her house was the deadliest mistake she regrets ever doing.
These are rackets on the move that go about seeking vulnerable mothers, teenagers, poor women and the sickly leaving these kids torn apart from their parents. Others pretend to be biological mothers of the said kidnapped babies and hence entrust them to children’s home where date of births and their original names are changed making traces by the police difficult.
Immense mental stress and trauma suffered by the separation of the child from its mother, mother’s swelling of breasts without medication to stop milk generation is the saddest reality and agony mothers have to deal with.
Vulnerable mothers being taken to court after days in custody on charges of child abandonment and repeatedly locked up for 14 days till a period of 6 months’ elapses is equivalent to the legal period before kids are placed for adoption.
This is later followed by letters from the police who indicate that efforts to trace parents have proved fruitless and since there are no claims made on kidnapped children, they accord the children the best they deserve.
Child procurement and falsification of documents amounts to child trafficking, investigating officers’ testimonies in court being omitted, statements made by them not matching what is indicated in the occurrence book delays justice hence denying fairness to the heartbroken women behind bars.
This emotional court draining battle began after 2014 UN office on Drugs and Crime, citing Kenya as a source, transit and destination country in Human Trafficking. The cartels normally manipulated the process to service applicants through private adoption society that which prompted the cabinet to issue a moratorium on resident and inter country adoption on the 26th November 2014.
The government then appointed a steering committee to probe the matter which they came to a conclusion that Kenyan children born by Kenyan mothers were being used as items of trade and that foreigners were queuingto buy them where else Kenyan parents wishing to adopt children are denied the opportunity as this cartel hoard children in children homes awaiting the foreigners.
Dirty tricks employed by the cartels prompted the steering committee to denote that they are ruthless, unmoved and heartless. Reports dated December, 2017 has since shown that money ranging from Ksh 6 million to 10 million changes hands for one kid to be adopted out of the country.
The Cartels involves scouts who mark potential targets in community hospitals where babies are stolen, police who record incidencesand children homes who hoard selected children, adoption societies and ultimately courts.
Appetite for children to adapt is insatiable, it is notable that local adoption societies are under pressure to meet demands from their counterparts abroad. Currently the number of children available for adoption is far below the number of applicants where the ratio of a child to applicants is 1:6 excluding foreign applicants. Background check of children at a local adaptation agency indicate that 90% of them have families.
With a stroke of a pen in a court room, biological mothers to the children lose the cases of adoption. When mothers proceed to hospitals to give birth and they unfortunately die, premature babies in incubators are transferred to children homes appending adoption denying their blood the right of taking care of their kin hence mothers are dealt a big blow.
The biggest challenge the country face is ignorance of the general public and the appetite of getting rich quickly. On the other hand Children adoption society fail to conduct due diligence by family tracing. The cartels continue to enrich themselves from this lucrative business, as mothers continue to suffer.