Aside Every year on the 15th of November, we celebrate World Adoption Day. The world spends the day in order to raise adoption awareness and celebrate families everywhere. But what exactly do families have to go through in order to adopt a child? Read our crash course in adopting a child legally in South Africa.
Adopting a child legally in South Africa
The National Adoption Coalition of South Africa (NACSA) and its umbrella initiative, AddOption, set the guidelines for adopting a child legally in South Africa. The group also strives to ensure that all adoptions in South Africa are done according to the legislation.
Katinka Pieterse, of NACSA, says: “Ensuring that adoptions take place in a legally compliant manner is crucial in protecting the rights of the child, the birth parents, and the adoptive parents. A key focus of NACSA has been on creating positive awareness for the option of adoption and making it accessible to all South Africans. Adoptions have declined by more than 50% over the past decade.” She explains that although there might be some emotional stress in adopting a child, they need to ensure that the adoptive parents and the child is a match.
She goes on to say: “In my research, I was told of cases of police officers asking people reporting an abandoned child if they would like to keep the child. Or simply handing the abandoned child to people in the community who may have lost a child. While individuals are required to sign an affidavit, attesting to the fact that they are taking care of the child, no further legal processes are undertaken.”
This is exactly what NACSA wants to eliminate. During a legal adoption process, a lot of rigorous screening takes place. Aside from the screenings, there are government interventions. These processes help ensure a child’s health, safety, and emotional needs are in good order throughout process. Anything less than that basically boils down to child trafficking.
What are the legal steps of adopting a child in South Africa?
You will have to work through NACSA before you are able to adopt a child in South Africa. NACSA has a 7-step legal adoption process, which looks like this:
- Waiting list
- Identifying child for adoption
You can learn more about the process as well as its requirements by visiting www.adoption.org.za or calling the Adoption Hotline on 0800 864 658.