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Adopting A Child

  • what is the process of adopting a child

    • The decision to adopt a child can be overwhelming, but by setting out the procedure in a step-by-step guide it may seem less daunting:

      Step 1: Once you are completely happy with your decision to take the adoption route, you need to consider your financial
      position. In order to adopt and raise a child you will require the necessary financial resources.

      Step 2: If you are certain that your financial position is adequate and wish to continue with the adoption route, you then need to
      decide on the type of adoption you will pursue. There are five common types of adoption: newborn or infant adoption;
      foster adoption; open or closed adoption; domestic or international adoption; and special needs and waiting children adoption.

      Step 3: Once you have chosen the type of adoption best suited for you and your family, the next step is to select an adoption
      agency or an adoption social worker functioning within the adoption system. When working through an adoption
      agency, the process usually begins with the prospective adoptive parents submitting an application to the agency.
      Each agency has its own set of requirements and you should therefore phone the particular agency to get their set criteria.

      Step 4: Many adoption agencies will require prospective adoptive parents to undergo a screening and preparation process.
      The screening process involves orientation meetings, interviews with a social worker, full medicals, marriage and
      psychological assessments, home visits, police clearance, and references.

      Step 5: After the screening process is complete you will be placed on a waiting list for a child. If you have been matched with a
      child, arrangements will be made for you to meet the child.

      Step 6: The official placement of the child with the adoptive parents is a legal process, carried out though the Children’s Court in
      the district where the child lives. Every Magistrate’s Court is also the Children’s Court for its area.

      You must complete the relevant application form which can be obtained from the clerk of the Magistrate’s Court. The
      application must be accompanied with a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate or identity document, a copy of your
      identity document, and a copy of the social worker’s report stating that you are a suitable candidate. You cannot start
      the formal procedure of adopting a baby if the baby has not yet been born and identified, and you have not received the birth certificate to submit to court.

      Once the child has been with the new parents for a period of time and the social worker has assessed the adoption to be
      in the best interests of the child, the adoption is finalised through the Children’s Court. If the court is satisfied that all
      the necessary requirements have been met an adoption order is granted (the court has agreed to the adoption in
      writing). The child then becomes the legal child of the adoptive parents as if the child was born to them and has all the same rights as a biological child.

      Adopting A Child Process
  • What are the requirements for adopting a child in south africa

    • • Adoptive parents need to be 18 years or older;

      • South African citizens or permanent residents. The Children’s Act 38 of 2005 does not discriminate on the basis of marital status,
      race, culture, or sexual orientation of the adoptive parents;

      • Stable medical health. If one or both parents have a history of chronic illness or are currently experiencing a serious illness, a
      letter from a primary physician is needed stating that they are physically stable and able to parent the child;

      • Stable emotional health.

  • Who can adopt a child

    • • A husband and wife jointly;

      • Two members of a permanent same-sex life partnership jointly;

      • A widower or widow;

      • An unmarried or divorced person;

      • The spouse of a person who has children from a previous relationship.

      A widow, widower, or unmarried or divorced person who wants to adopt a child must apply in writing to the Minister of Welfare and Population
      Development for consent. The Minister’s decision will be communicated to the court.

  • The courts considerations for adoption

    • The best interests of the child will always be of paramount importance to the court when deciding to grant an adoption order. The court will take
      the following into consideration:

      • The court must consider the religious and cultural background of the child and of his/her parents, and compare it with that of the
      person or couple who want to adopt the child. However, differences in religious or cultural background do not exclude the
      possibility of adoption. The older the child the more weight this consideration carries.

      • The court must consider the recommendations set out in the social worker’s report. The social worker must be objective.

      • Details of the citizenship of the adoptive parents.

      • Details regarding the consent by the child, the biological parents and/or foster parents.

      • Information about any counselling that may have been given.

      • A statement of all money paid by the person wanting to adopt, such as attorney fees and all other costs incurred with a view to
      the proposed adoption, which includes the cost of caring for the child such as medical expenses, housing, food, clothing, travel expenses, and other costs.

      • The court must be satisfied that the adoptive parents are qualified to so. They must have a good reputation, and be capable of
      looking after a child properly, seeing to the child’s education and giving financial support.

  • How much does adoption cost in south africa

    • The cost of adoption varies significantly depending on the different organizations that facilitate the adoption, and whether the adoption is
      processed by Child Welfare, a government-subsidised agency or a private social worker. The Department of Social Development and the
      Children’s Court monitor the fees to ensure it remains reasonable, in line with the service provided.

      Adoptions can cost between R12 000 and R18 000 (excluding the cost of the medical, police clearance, and psychological examination).
      Adoption through a private social worker or adoption organization can cost up to R60 000 (typically inclusive of the external screening and
      often includes counselling and support for the child’s birth mother).

  • How long does adoption take in south africa

    • There are different stages in the adoption process, as discussed above, and each stage takes a period of time to be finalized.

      • The approval of the screening process takes between three to six months.

      • The process of matching a child with its adoptive parents depends on the adoption criteria that the adoptive parents have specified. It
      can take as little as a few weeks or sometimes even years, especially if the prospective parents are very specific about race, age and gender of the child.

      • The legal process of the adoption can take up to a year or even longer for the Adoption Order to be issued and the adoption
      to be registered. Once the Adoption Order has been issued the parents go to Home Affairs to obtain a new birth certificate and ID
      number for their child and have their child’s name officially changed, should they wish to do so.

  • How to give your child up for adoption in south africa

    • 1. Begin the process by researching adoption agencies. The agency will handle the entire process involved in adopting a child.

      2. After you have chosen an agency it is your duty to go for counselling by an adoption social worker, which is done prior to
      signing permission for the adoption.

      3. There are two different ways of adoption in terms of the Children’s Act: disclosed adoption where the parties know each other’s
      identities, and non-disclosed adoption where a child is to be matched with non-relatives, unknown the parents.

      4. Both the biological mother and father of the child must consent in writing to allow the adoption by a specific person or persons. There
      are circumstances where the consent of the biological father can be done away with:

      • the parent has failed to acknowledge that he is the child’s natural father, or failed to carry out his duties as a parent (e.g. maintenance);

      • the child was conceived incestuously;

      • the father has been convicted of rape or assault of the mother;

      • the parent failed to respond within 14 days to a legal notice of adoption;

      • the parent abused the child physically, emotionally or sexually;

      • that parent has caused or contributed to the abduction of sexual exploitation of the child;

      • the parent has deserted the child, or it is not known where he is;

      • the parent is certified as mentally ill;

      • consent is being withheld unreasonably.

      If the child is 10 years or older then the child must also consent to the adoption.

      5. The biological parents have 60 days to confirm their decision to place the child up for adoption. During this period the child is taken care of in a place of safety.

      6. Once you have signed the consent forms it is important to stay in touch with the agency to be aware of the adoption timeline and whether it was completed without incident.

      7. Upon completion of the legal process of adoption your existing parental authority over the child is terminated and awarded to the new adoptive parents.

    • Adopting A Child

      Required Documents –

        • Birth Certificate of Child/Children.
          Certified Identity Document of Applicant.
        • Procedure

          • The process are as follows -

            • The applicant is required to approach the local magistrate’s court.

          • The court is required to consider all relevant evidence from all respective parties.

          • Consent from the parent giving up the child must be obtained.

          • The social workers report must be obtained.

          • The magistrate will make a decision based on the best interest of the child. The prizes are not exchangeable for cash, and will not be transferable or negotiable.
            The following act safe guards children within south africa - Children's act 38 of 2005
            To give effect to certain rights of children as contained in the constitution, to set out the principles relating to the care and protection of children, to define parental responsibilities and rights, to make further provision regarding children’s courts, to provide for the issuing of contribution orders., to make new
            provision for the adoption of children, to provide for inter-country adoptions, to give effect to the Hague Convention on Inter-country adoption, to prohibit child abduction and to give effect to the Hague convention on International child adbduction, to provide surrogate motherhood, to create certain new offences relating to children, and to provide for matters connected therewith.

            Hi, I’m Kailash Pillay, an attorney from the city of Johannesburg. My passion for the law
            stems from a desire to improve upon the lives of the vulnerable who fall prey to a
            corrupt system.
            I studied at the University of Johannesburg where I obtained my Bachelor of Laws
            degree, the starting point to the long journey of becoming a legal practitioner.
            This profession has taught me to persevere through the complexities of the law and to
            continually develop my skills as a legal professional.