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Adopted Children Have Rights to Inherit Property- Justice Zeija


Justice Flavian Zeija, the Principal Judge of the High Court has urged adoptive parents to grant adopted children rights to inherit properties.

Zeija was speaking at the Adoption Awareness Conference held in Kampala. The conference under the theme, “Bringing Hope to a Generation through Adoption, was aimed at fostering a supportive adoption ecosystem in Uganda.

Statistics indicate that there are more than two million vulnerable children in Uganda and among them; 50,000 children are out of parental care and currently living in childcare institutions.

Justice Zeija explained that adopting a child establishes a legal bond akin to that of biological parenthood, hence necessitating inclusion in inheritance rights. 

He argued that many adoptive parents often confuse adoption with guardianship, while relatives assume care responsibilities for children whose biological parents are incapable. 

At the conference, participants decried the long process of adopting a child in Uganda as well as the legal costs that adoptive parents have to endure to present their interest in adopting a child before the court.  

Barbara Nankya Mutagubya, the Director of Sanyu Babies Home which takes care of 50 children said that they have had instances where many of the adoptive parents never complete the adoption process, putting children at risk because they are in families to which they do not legally belong.  

Don Wamara, the Executive Director of Uganda Child Rights NGO Network (UCRNN) also said that some processes are uncalled for because they overwhelm probation officers and cause delays in adoptions.

Under the Ugandan Children’s Act, adoptive families must foster children for a minimum of one year before requesting adoption. Adoption fees, comprising court and legal professional charges, typically range below USD 20 for court fees and between USD 2,500 to USD 3,500 for legal professional fees.  

Addressing the concerns, Justice Zeija said that while they have control over the official fees of filing an adoption case in court, they do not have control over attorneys’ charges.

He however advised that the ideal amount for the lawyers should not be above 2 million shillings especially when one is assisting a child to be adopted.


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