This article from the Daily Nation shines light on "the multi-million-shilling child trade industry" in Kenya that "has been thriving for years," specifically targeting poor families. According to the article, there is an industry which (often illegally) separates children from their families in order to place them for adoption to satisfy "the demands of their clients." Some of these children are abducted, while others are taken from maternity wards of private and public hospitals where nurses, midwives, or other hospital staff conspire to "sell off" newborns by telling their mothers that their children have died, showing them dead fetuses as proof. Other times, however, children are taken from their families through legal channels by "framing the parents as 'careless' with the connivance of social workers, who take away the “neglected” children," says the article.
One such mother had her home in Nairobi raided by police, who accused her of leaving her son unattended and then took him to a children's home. The mother was held in prison for close to nine months and the child was placed for adoption, even though it is against Kenyan law to place a child for adoption when that child has family members who want to care for them. "In some instances," says the article "the Judiciary and government officials have looked the other way and granted such requests, mostly against poor families who cannot afford legal aid." The article also describes how some people will take children while they are at home or playing outside and bring them to police stations claiming the child has been abandoned. These "Good Samaritans" then "collude with the police and the children are placed in particular children’s homes that have links to adoption societies."
A report by the Kenyan government indicates that police often make little effort to trace the families of "lost" and "abandoned" children, thus making things easier for these "adoption cartels." The article also notes that these cartels have sometimes managed to circumvent the Exectuive Order that put a moratorium on international adoptions in 2014. Furthermore, according to the article, "detectives investigating the Kenyan syndicate say that some senior officials of the Department of Children’s Services, who are supposed to offer independent reports on a child declared free for adoption, have been working closely with the adoption agencies and that some of them own some of the children’s homes." The cartels place these children for adoption in order to profit from the "hefty sums" that prospective adoptive parents, both in Kenya and abroad, will pay. "By targeting desperate couples eager to adopt a child, the adoption agencies have created a multi-million-shilling industry where children are traded under the eyes of government agencies."