Court name
HC: Family Division (Uganda)
Judgment date
9 November 2015

In Re: Okoche (infant) (Family Cause-2015/9) [2015] UGHCFD 38 (09 November 2015);

Cite this case
[2015] UGHCFD 38
Short summary:

Family Law

Coram
Wolayo, J

THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA

IN THE HIGH COURT OF UGANDA AT SOROTI

FAMILY CAUSE 09 OF 2015

IN THE MATTER OF ROBERT OKOCHE ............AN INFANT

AND

IN THE MATTER OF AN APPLICATION FOR

 LEGAL GUARDIANSHIP ORDER   BY

DR. DANIEL TAYLOR GRAHAM  AND

MRS. RACHEL ELIZABETH GRAHAM.....................APPLICANTS

 

BEFORE HON. LADY JUSTICE H. WOLAYO

RULING

This is an application brought under article 139 ( 1) of the Constitution , sections 14, 33, and 39   of the Judicature Act Cap 13;  section 98  of the Civil procedure Act  order 52 rules 1 and 3 of the Civil Procedure Rules.

The applicants seeks an order for appointment as legal guardians of the child  Robert Okoche.

The application is supported with affidavits of the two applicants ;   Robert Omolo LC1 Secretary for Children’a Affairs Wera Parish Aten village; John Orutor grandfather of the child; Evaline Asio sister to Jennifer Asio mother of the child; Amos Oluka Assistant Probation and Social Welfare Officer  Soroti;   and Simon Orugon a social welfare worker with AMECET.

Applicants were represented by Mr. George Mugume of Mugume& Nyakimwe  Advocates .

In attendance were the applicants, and  Probation and Social Welfare officer Soroti ;  and Mr. Simon Orugen, Social worker with AMECET  Youth with a Mission Children Home.

Counsel for the applicant filed written submissions and authorities that i have carefully considered.

The grounds for allowing an application for guardianship is that it is for the welfare of the child.   In determining the welfare of the child, the court is enjoined to have regard to the principles set out in section 3 of the 1st schedule to the Children Act.

Of relevance to this application are:

The child’s physical, emotional, and educational needs;

The likely effects of any changes in the child’s environment,

The child’s age and background,

Any harm the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering,

The capacity of the child’s parents or others involved in his upbringing, in meeting the child’s needs.

I have examined the affidavits and documents accompanying this application.

According to Simon Orugon, a Social Worker with AMECET Children Home, the child  Robert Okoche   born on 18th November 2013  according to a medical form attached to the affidavit of Orugon, was  delivered   to the Home  on 24th April 2013 by John Orutor grandfather of the child and Mr. Robert Omolo  Wera  LC 1 Secretary for children affairs. 

I their affidavits, John Prutor , Robert Omolo and Evaline Asio all confirm that the both mother and father of the infants, Jennifer Asio and Joel Ecimu are mentally unstable and therefore unable to care for the child.  Medical reports are attached to the affidavit of Evaline Asio as proof of the mental state of the child’s parents.

The Social and probation officer Soroti confirms this state of affairs in his detailed report attached  to the affidavit of  Amos Oluka .

Consequently, i find that the welfare of the child Robert Okecho  is better served  by appointing willing guardians more especially his own relatives took him to the Children’s Home when he was a baby.

The Probation and Social Welfare Services Officer , Soroti, Mr. Oteko Ekalam in his report dated 12th July 2015 , confirms the above narrative and recommends that the infant  is in need of care and protection.

With regards the circumstances of the applicants,   i  am satisfied that they are responsible residents of Soroti where the 1st applicant Dr. Daniel Taylor Graham is employed with Christian veterinary Mission and seconded to Clide as a missionary field worker    while his wife the second applicant  Mrs. Rachel Elizabeth Graham seconded to the same organisation as a missionary worker.   The applicants are legally married and citizens of USA but have  been resident in Soroti since 2012  at Plot 13 Oculoi , Soroti.

The applicants have demonstrated their financial security and  their potential to accord the infant emotional , physical  and  educational  needs in future.

All documents availed to  court by the applicants concerning their financial status, marital status, suitability as adoptive parents, criminal  clearance, medical clearance,  and employment  are duly authenticated.

For the above reasons and  as the Probation and Social Welfare officer Soroti has certified that they are suitable persons to be appointed legal guardians, their application is allowed.

For the reasons given above, i am convinced that it is for the welfare of the child  that this application be allowed  . I hereby make the following orders:

  1. Dr. Daniel Taylor Graham and Mrs. Rachel Elizabeth Graham
  1.   are  appointed legal guardians  to Robert   Okoche
  2. are  to accord the child all the rights of the child under the law.
  1. Should the legal guardians  need to travel with the child outside the country, they will inform the Deputy registrar of the High Court Soroti  and avail  the address where the family will be staying  and directed to obtain a Ugandan passport for the child in his names.
  2. The two legal guardians  are directed to register this order with the Registrar of Births and Deaths, Kampala.

DATED AT SOROTI THIS  9TH DAY OF  NOVEMBER 2015.

HON. LADY JUSTICE H. WOLAYO