Adopting a child
The decision to adopt is life changing for both the respective parents and the child. Whether you're battling
with infertility or simply have a desire to expand your family, adoption might be the right decision for you.
Adoption is one of the ways to help give abandoned babies a permanent or stable family life they would otherwise not have had. There are many reasons why parents abandon their children, such as:
Not all children eligible for adoption are necessarily abandoned. There are different circumstances and situations that determine the types of adoptions made possible.
What types of adoption are available?
Who can adopt a baby?
1. Jointly by:
2. A widower, widow, divorced or unmarried person.
3. A married person whose spouse is the parent of the child (step-parent) or by a person whose permanent domestic life-partner is the parent of the child.
4. By the biological father of a child born out of wedlock. This clause is applied as per Section 21 of the Children’s Act 38/2005 when the parental rights of the father is not afforded to him by default.
5. By a foster parent of the child.
In terms of section 242 of the Children’s Act, all parental rights and responsibilities of the natural family are terminated automatically as soon as the adoption order is granted.
Consent is not required or necessary if the consent was taken away by a court from the parent or guardian who:
Alternatively, in the best interest of the child, the court must waive the parent’s right to consent to adoption.
Biological parents can withdraw their consent within 60 days of signing their consent.
If the child is 10 years or older, the child must also consent to the adoption.
If the child is in foster care, the foster parents may apply to adopt the foster child/children in their care. They can also certify that they do not wish to adopt the child. This is however a limited courtesy gesture and foster parents can't indefinitely prevent the adoption of a foster child should such adoption be in the child’s best interests.
Help is available
If you need advice on the choices available to pregnant mothers, contact your nearest Department of Social Development office.
Adoption services are rendered by individuals that are registered as specialists by SACSSP to render this service as well as organizations that are accredited by the National DSD.
For more information, you can contact the Department of Social Development, Directorate Children and Families:
Find out more about:
|Government Body:||(Western Cape Government)|
- Fostering a child (Service)
- Cape Town Child Welfare Society Website (Link)
- Giving up a child for adoption (Service)
- Adoption Matters Act, 56 of 1998 (Act) (File type: pdf; size: 84.91 KB)
- How do I find my birth parents? (Service)