Court Deals Blow To Deadbeat Fathers, Invalidates Sections Of The Children’s Act


The High court in Kakamega has declared some sections of the Children’s Act unconstitutional.  Justice Jesse Njagi said that parental responsibility was mandatory for both parents and that it should not be left for the woman alone.

The court ruled that unemployment could not be be used as an excuse for the man to escape parental responsibility.

The court invalidated section 2(b) of the Children’s Act that gives  the father freedom to choose whether to relate with  a child that was born out of wedlock or not. The same law gives children born within wedlock automatic guarantee to relate to their fathers.

Justice Njagi also invalidated  section 27(2) of the Children’s Act stating the section as discriminatory. The section states that the father of a child born out of wedlock can only assume parental responsibility after the death of the mother.. The court ruled that this section went against the principle of equal responsibility for parents as that that right could not be qualified.

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Justice Njagi also declared section 102(1) and section 158(4)(b) of the children’s Act unconstitutional . The two sections determine who takes responsibility of the child after a mother’s death also the process of adoption. He also invalidated section 3(2) of the succession Act which categorized children who would benefit from the estate of their fathers.

This comes three years after Justice Mumbi Ngugi invalidated section 12 of the birth and registration act as unconstitutional as women were forced to coerce deadbeat fathers to have their names in the birth certificates. She states that the law was unfair to women.

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Written by Merxcine Cush

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