Adopting a Child
Adoption is a legal way for an adult single person or couple - being unable to give birth to a child or wishing to bring another child into the family, for example - to become the legal parents of a child. When you adopt a child, the child becomes yours as though born of you.
It is illegal to attempt to become a child's "permanent" parent in any other way than through the adoption process. Becoming a child's foster parent involves another process, which is discussed here.
Adoption can only take place legally when:
Open adoptions are adoptions where the identities of the various parties are known to each other, for example, where other family members of a child adopt the child.
With closed adoptions, identities of the parties are not known from the start of the process. Open and closed adoptions are usually done through accredited and designated child protection organisations or private practitioners. The social worker involved in this process may advise the parties to consider sharing their identities with each other in the best interests of the child, for example, to ensure that they retain contact with their culture and roots.
WHO CAN ADOPT A CHILD?
ARE INTER-COUNTRY ADOPTIONS POSSIBLE?
In the past, adoption by a non-citizen of a child born of a South African citizen in South Africa was possible only if the non-citizen qualified for naturalisation as a South African citizen. South African courts also had no legal power to undertake adoption procedures in respect of non-South African children by South Africans.
South Africa has now signed an international convention on inter-country adoptions. The Children's Act 2005/38 sets out the procedure for inter-country adoptions.
To legalise any inter-country adoptions it is important that social workers liaise directly with the Registrar of Adoptions in Pretoria via the Departmental Provincial Head Office with the Affiliated Bureau for International Social Services (ISS) in South Africa.
Registrar of Adoptions, Department of Social Development (National)
WHERE TO GO TO START THE ADOPTION PROCEEDINGS
Adoption proceedings are handled by social workers at accredited and designated child protection organisations and accredited private adoption social workers.
The accredited and designated Child Protection Organisations that provide adoptions services are, ACVV, Badisa, Cape Town Child Welfare, Child Welfare South Africa, AFM Abba Adoptions and then Department of Social Development. Please be aware that some of the above organisations may charge a fee relating to adoption.
ACCREDITED AND DESIGNATED CHILD PROTECTION ORGANISATIONS
ACVV (Afrikaanse Christelike Vroue Vereniging)
BADISA (The former Diakonale Dienste amalgamated with the former Christelike Maatskaplike Raad (CMR))
Cape Town Child Welfare
AFM Abba Adoptions
SOME WELFARE AGENCIES INVOLVED IN FOSTERING
CAFDA (Cape Flats Development Association)
Jewish Community Services
|Government Body:||(Western Cape Government)|