Why Men Are Entitled to More Pre-Adoptive Days Than Paternity Leave

  • Did you know that men in Kenya are entitled to a longer leave days when they adopt a child than when they sire one?

    This is according to sections 29 and 29(a) of the Employment Act 2007.

    Though the section is titled maternity leave, under subsection 8, it provides that a male employee shall be entitled to two weeks of paternity leave with full pay.

    However, after the amendment of the Act in 2021, Section 29A was inserted which entitled employees (men) to one (1) month of pre-adoptive leave with full pay where a child is placed in the continuous care and control of the said employee, from the date of placement of the child.

    An image of a family pausing for photos

    An image of a family pausing for photos

    Foster Mofat

    In the amended Act, an employee eligible for pre-adoptive leave shall be required to:

    • notify the employer in writing of the adoption society’s intention to place the child in their custody at least fourteen (14) days before the placement of the child; and
    • accompany the written notice in (a) above with documentation evidencing the intention of the adoption society to place the child in their custody (including the custody agreement between the employee and the adoption society and an exit certificate).


    An exit certificate is defined as a written authority given by a registered adoption society to a prospective parent to take the child from the custody of the adoptive society.

    The exit Certificate serves as documentation evidencing the intention of the adoption society to place the child in the prospective adoptive parent’s custody.

    It is important for an employee to communicate with the adoption society to enable him to apply for pre-adoptive leave at the right time.

    Equally, recommended to maintain regular and timely communication with the adoption society to enable you to apply for pre-adoptive leave at just the right time.

    That is; not too early before the adoption society is ready to place the child in your care, and not too late to hinder your employer’s approval of leave.

    Once you have confirmation of a placement date from the adoption society, you can go ahead and apply for leave at least two weeks before the placement date.  

    On the expiry of the pre-adoptive leave, the concerned employee shall have the right to return to the job which he held immediately prior to his or her pre-adoptive leave.

    Or to a reasonably suitable job on terms and conditions not less favourable than those which would have applied had he not been on pre-adoptive leave.

    Pre-adoptive leave is offered to enable an employee to test their compatibility with a child they intend to adopt.  

    An employee should not forfeit his annual leave entitlement under section 28 of the principal Act on account of having taken pre-adoptive leave.

    The effect of the Amendment is that employers will have to allow their employees adopting children to proceed on leave and it is prudent for employers to provide for pre-adoption leave in their Human Resource Policies.

    An image of a dad playing with his kids

    An image of a dad playing with his kids

    Rabinowitz Counselling

Beryl Onyango

Beryl Onyango is a CPA and economics degree holder who has dedicated her career to helping others navigate the complex world of finance. Beryl has spent the past 3 years working as a finance specialist in a fintech company and has 6 years of experience in finance, working with a diverse range of clients and industries. Beryl's expertise lies in budgeting, saving, investing, and retirement planning, but she also has a deep understanding of various other areas of finance. She is interested in financial technology and how it changes how we manage our finances. As a finance writer, Beryl has been sharing her insights and knowledge through her writing, covering various finance and personal finance topics. Her goal is to educate and empower individuals to take control of their finances and achieve their financial goals. In addition to her professional experience, Beryl is a lifelong learner, always seeking to expand her knowledge and stay up-to-date with the latest developments in finance. She is also a strong communicator, able to explain complex financial concepts in a clear and easy-to-understand manner. Beryl believes that financial literacy is the key to achieving financial success, and she is dedicated to helping others achieve their financial goals.

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