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Adoption is the legal process of adding a person to an existing family. Adoption, unlike foster care, is meant to be permanent. The goal of adoption is to provide lifelong security to the child and the adoptive family.

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Children who are orphaned are obvious candidates for adoption. Children can be adopted if the parents give up the child voluntarily or if the child is freed involuntarily through the court process known as termination of parental rights. International adoption (adoption of children from other countries, for example, from foreign orphanages) is also often possible.

Depending on the type, adoption can sometimes cost tens of thousands of rands. Having experienced legal representation or expert in this field helps the adoptive parents regardless of the type of adoption.
Sometimes, adoptive parents connect with birth parents. The parties may already be related in some way. For example, a stepparent can adopt a spouse's birth child or grandparents can adopt their grandchildren. In other cases, parents may connect through word of mouth or newspaper advertisements.

In some cases, birth parents may appreciate the chance to visit the child. A positive relationship with the birth parents may make adoptive parents less likely to worry that the birth parents will try to reclaim the child. Maintaining a relationship with the birth family usually benefits the child. All such issues are often best discussed with an expert (such as a mental health professional and a legal professional) before deciding whether or not to have an open adoption.

To decide whether to adopt a child or not is always a difficult and emotional decision.  You need to decide what age group you are looking at since it might take a lot longer to get a baby to adopt.  You also need to decide whether you would be willing to adopt a child of another race and the adjustments that you need to make to ensure that you could accommodate your adopted child.

Adoption in South Africa normally takes place through the use of Adoption Agencies.

How does the adoption process in South Africa work?

Relative to the rest of the world, our process in South Africa is easy and fast. Screening process includes the following steps: (and this differs slightly from organisation to organisation)

  • Orientation
  • Counselling and interviews focusing on infertility, background, marriage, extended family support, parenting, finances, culture and home environment
  • Home visit
  • Full medical
  • Psychometric testing
  • Police Clearance
  • Matching, placement and legal finalisation
  • Two year after care and support

The screening and preparation process can take up to four to six months. Depending on the race of the child you are applying for, the wait for a baby can be anywhere from 4 months to 5 years.

For more information on the steps, the law, the costs and dealing with the emotions of adoption, contact:

Terri Lailvaux - Counsellor - Dip C (Inst NH)
Cell: 083 325 6034
Fax: 086 759 0813
Twitter: @adoptmom
Facebook: Adoptmom
Skype: lailvaux

Adoption Counsellor

Terri Lailvaux - Counsellor - Dip C (Inst NH)
Cell: 083 325 6034
Fax: 086 759 0813
Twitter: @adoptmom
Facebook: Adoptmom
Skype: lailvaux

Support Group: 011 640 6685


Adoption Agencies

Major Welfare Adoption Agencies BADISA  (CMR);
11 Pastorie Street, or Private Bag X8, Bellville, 7535
Tel: 021 957 7130.  

Child Welfare Adoption Centre (formerly at 13 Electric Road, Wynberg, 7800 -associated with Cape Town Child Welfare)
Lower Klipfontein Road, Gatesville, Athlone, 7764.
Tel: 021 638 3127

PROCARE 91 Church Street, Wellington
Po Box 6005, Paarl, 7622.  
Tel: 021 873 0532

ACVV Adoption Service (021) 461 7437 or 511 2972 

Birthline (021) 761 4747

Catholic Women’s League Adoption Society (011) 618 1533

Child Welfare Adoption Centre (021) 674 4170

Choices Crisis Pregnancy Centre (021) 852 6454

Crisis Line (011) 614 3149

Johannesburg Welfare (011) 331 0171

Orange Vrouevereniging Tak (051) 447 1838

Princess Alice Adoption Home (011) 646 5641/486 1137. Referrals by JHB Welfare



Please see the following: