Who can consider adopting a child?

Whether you are the Biological Mother or whether you would like to consider being a mother through the process of adoption, one would like to know beforehand if you have a chance, or whether your child will be well looked after.

 South Africa has the following adoption legislation, namely the Child Care Act of 1983, which states that a child may be adopted by:

  • A married couple in a joint adoption.
  • Life partners, same sex or otherwise, in a joint adoption.
  • A person who has married the parent of a child can adopt the child, with the biological fathers consent. This is called the adoption of a stepchild.
  • A single person can adopt a child.

Furthermore: Any child may be adopted provided that they are under the age of 18 and have been abandoned or orphaned. If the child’s parents are still alive, both parents must consent.

  • Due consideration to cultural differences in placements – including language and religion however cross-cultural placements are not outlawed.
  • The age of the adoptive parent/s will be taken into consideration.
  • Adoption may take place via social workers – usually as private adoption agencies – or via nonprofit government organisations.
  • In non-abandonment adoptions, the birth mother has 60 days from the time of the birth in which she may change her mind about putting her child up for adoption.

Most of the adoptions in South Africa stem from abandoned babies. In these cases it may take up to 8 months before the child can be released from a place of safety whilst social workers attempt to trace the biological parents.