Chief Justice Martha Koome Please Defend Adopted Children, Shorten Hearings

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BY DAVID SIRENGO

Dear Chief Justice Of The Republic Of Kenya Martha Koome

You are a role model that the girl child looks up to as a Chief Justice of the republic of Kenya and the President of the Supreme Court.

The one who can stand for children and in particular orphans. A true mother figure.

I know how much you give back to the society especially orphans in children’s homes.

I have great faith in you and I am confident you can close all loopholes that surround and affect the future of orphans.

There are people who go to children’s home to take children for adoption. They even include them in the inheritance but are disinherited once their adopting parents are dead.

I kindly request your good office to expedite hearing and determination of cases of adopted children for equal sharing of estates of deceased without discrimination.

I ask you to expedite hearing and determination of pending cases in courts by ensuring justice, equity and fairness in sharing of assets of the estate of deceased for recognizing adopted children who have no adoption orders and no birth certificates.

This will stop a scenario where children are taken for adoption without adoption orders and upon the death of adoptive parents these children are left to fight over estates.

The law should fairly treat all adopted children equally in sharing estates of deceased parents, so that they are not left without any identity or inheritance.

The judiciary has a big role to play for justice to be seen for these children.

What is the role of judiciary in fair sharing of the assets of the estate of the deceased among the adopted children? Particularly where a will does not specify the modality of sharing of the estate and there are no adoption orders and birth certificates?

What happens in a case where lawyers may  collude to make sure that the adopted child is less privileged than the other adopted children though none may be having formal adoption orders?

The so discriminated children end up frustrated because they do not afford legal fees hence their cases are shelved.

I still do not understand how a case especially a succession case can run close to six years before it is heard and determined.

There are many succession cases pending in courts particularly where a child’s rightful documents for adoption can not be traced.

What happens if the will and the deceased’s eulogy and affidavits of the advocate recognize the said child as an adopted child yet that child is disinherited?

Before promulgation of the 2010 constitution, anyone could walk into a children home and casually adopt a child.

Children adopted during that period are facing challenges of not having adoption orders despite having been dependants of adoptive parents.

This is a bitter situation considering they are recognized through affidavits of lawyers and are known to relatives of adoptive parents. 

There is also a fact that some of these children were educated by the deceased adoptive parents, this can be good evidence to guide a court.

These children are people with no one to support, no one to ensure they will have an equal share of inheritance like other adopted children and they are considered a nobody in the society.

Once the parents are dead they are constantly reminded that they belong to the orphanage from where they were adopted.

Lady Chief Justice, kindly intervene to safeguard the interests of those adopted children whose cases are pending in the family division succession courts over flimsy grounds.

Recently the national Parliament passed a law to ensure children who are born in “Mpango Wa Kando” (Unmarried Couples but were in a relationship) are included in the inheritance of their fathers’ estates. That is a landmark ruling in the laws of succession in Kenya.

David Sirengo is a Kenyan Journalist and writes on different topical issues.

He can be reached on 0700070017

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