Finding your birthparents | Western Cape Government

Finding your birthparents

There are different reasons why you’d like to find your birthparents if you’re adopted. 

You might want to know why you were placed for adoption or you might need some important medical information relating to your birthparents.

How do I find my birthparents?

As an adopted child, you can start a search for your biological or birth parents if you’re over 18 years old. If you’re between 18 and 21, you’ll need to have your adoptive parents' written permission. If you’re over 21 you can search without your adoptive parents' permission.

Before you can start the search, you’ll receive counselling from a social worker.

Adoption records are kept for 70 years and are the initial source of information. The records are kept with the Registrar of Adoptions in Pretoria. The following information which is kept can be accessed:

  • The consent form.
  • The adoptive parents' application.
  • The social worker's report on the adoptive parents.
  • The social worker's report on the birth parents (if it exists).

How do I get more detailed information?

Specific information regarding an adoption may be given to any person at the discretion of the Registrar. However, the identity of the parties can’t be made known. For example, medical information can be made available to a doctor.

Biological or birth parents can only have access to the adoption records if the adoptive parents and the child give their written consent. If they refuse, the biological parents can leave their details in the file so that they can be contacted if the adoptive parents or child change their minds.

For more information, contact the Registrar of Adoptions at the National Department of Social Development in Pretoria.

Mrs Marikie Botha
Registrar of Adoptions, Department of Social Development
Private Bag X901, Pretoria, 0001
Tel: 012 312 7608
Fax: 086 214 6749

The content on this page was last updated on 8 February 2017