Sunday, January 26th 2014 By WILLIS OKETCH A childless Dutch couple that came to Kenya in search of a child to adopt is locked in a legal battle with the Children’s Department in Kwale.
Norefier Nielseen, 50, and his wife Olga Skvortsova, 47, started the adoption process last year after getting the child from a children’s home in Nakuru. The two, who have sworn in court that they are unable to have children of their own, told the court on Friday that they are capable of taking care of the three-year-old boy. And the adoption process has been assailed by various obstacles, including an earlier false report by the child’s mother that he had died at Kenyatta National Hospital while undergoing treatment. And although the woman has agreed to give away her son, court records do not indicate if the child’s biological father has consented.
The Children’s Department in Kwale has told the court that the woman was estranged from her husband after he allegedly threatened to circumcise her after she delivered. When hospital authorities announced plans to have her arrested and charged for child neglect three years ago, she fled the hospital and lied to her family members that the child had died at KNH.
Two years later, the woman returned to KNH in search of her child and discovered he had been taken to a children’s home in Nairobi.
Before she could trace her son, the Dutch couple met the child who had now been transferred to a new home in Nakuru and began the adoption process. Testifying before Justice Maureen Odero in Mombasa earlier, Kwale District Children’s official told the court that he was opposed to the couple adopting the boy pending the mother’s appearance in court.
On Friday, the woman admitted that she had lied to her family that the boy had died in hospital and added that she was initially opposed to the adoption plan. She then gave consent to the couple after ascertaining the Dutch couple was taking good care of her son. Justice Odero ordered the parties to be in the court on February 6 when she will give her ruling on whether the child should be adopted or not.