The social and cultural factors that influence legal child adoption in Nairobi, Kenya

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The overall aim of the study was to explore social and cultural factors that influence legal child adoption In Nairobi. The specific objectives were to examine the laws, guidelines and mechanisms of legal adoption; to investigate knowledge and attitudes toward legal child and to determine the cultural factors that impede the process of legal child adoption in This study was guided by the theory of Symbolic anthropology; advanced by Clifford Geertz. The study used non-probability sampling techniques including snowballing sampling, convenient and quota sampling, to select a total of 126 participants. 11 key informants were chosen through convenient sampling. 12 prospective and adoptive 'parents were selected through snowball sampling as recommended by other adoptive parents, associations and acquaintances. Quota sampling was used to select 103 KenYaI1 women and men, older than 18 years old and who lived in Nairobi in February 2011. In-depth interviews were held with key informants working directly with legal child adoption agencies, government offices and law firms involved with legal child adoption. Semi-structured interviews were used with prospective and adoptive parents. A survey questionnaire was administered to 103 respondents in Nairobi. The results reveal that Kenya has a clear and defined legal process for adoption. Although the process is legally streamlined and efficient, it is perceived by informants in this study as very difficult to follow and not easy to understand. The informants especially highlight, in a negative way, the legal phase which involves the adoptive parents hiring of lawyers and the court process.

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