The Lives of Adopted Children and of "Natural" Children
When a child is adopted, he or she continues to see the birth parents on a regular basis and continues to call them baba and mama while using the same terms for the adoptive parents. The visits with the birth parents are just that, visits. The child's home is with the adoptive parents. So far as I could determine, all of the adopted school age boys and girls I know of regularly shinda (spend the whole day as opposed to stopping in for a shorter time) with their biological parents. This type of visit is made by all children, adopted or not, to various relatives. But it is an occasional thing as regards visits to other relatives, while it is often a never missed weekly visit, often on Friday, for those who are adopted.
An adopted child is treated much as a biological child is. In paying the bride-price, for example, the adoptive parents provide the whole amount if they are well-to-do or, at least, a substantial part of it if they are less prosperous. Even as concerns radhi (the parental blessing), many biological parents say that they give theirs if the adoptive parents do and withhold it on the same grounds. I know of adoptive children who provide the funds to support their adoptive parents when the latter are old and unable to provide for themselves.
In general, children leave their parents' home to establish their own household in their early or middle twenties and, as table 2B shows, very few children remain in the parental home beyond their mid-twenties. A few sons, but almost no daughters, leave their parental home before they marry. The sons may leave to take employment in another part of Kenya or abroad, but few sons leave—generally because of quarrels with their fathers—to live with other kin (generally married siblings) or, in unusual cases, in a rented room in the house of a distant kin or unrelated community member.