The decision was made at a cabinet meeting chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured). File picture: Carlo Allegri / Reuters.

NAIROBI - The Kenyan Cabinet on Thursday announced an immediate ban on adoption of children by foreign nationals.

A special cabinet meeting chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection to formulate a new policy document to regulate the adoption of children by foreign nationals in Kenya.

"The meeting also directed the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection to streamline operations of the Child Welfare Society of Kenya and those of children homes in the country," the president said in a statement issued after the meeting.

The cabinet also revoked all licenses to conduct inter-county adoptions in Kenya with immediate effect, said the statement. 

The East African nation current laws do not define child sale, child procuring, child trade and child laundering as part of trafficking, which had in effect put Kenyan children at high risk. It has created a loophole for fraudulent vested interests, masquerading through ownership of children homes, adoption agencies and legal firms representing children and adopters, to engage in the unscrupulous business of human trafficking under the guise of charity. 

Xinhua