South African society is facing among many the challenge to deal with babies and children that have either been abandoned or orphaned due to the rapid growing problems of poverty, HIV aids and the breakdown of families. In view of this reality, there are many children who are destitute, abandoned and or orphaned and who can benefit from adoptions. All efforts are made towards developing national adoptions within our country, so that South African children can have a secured future within a loving permanent family. We do however still face the challenge of not having enough national adoptive families for the large number of children in need of permanent family care.
South Africa is therefore also a party to the Hague Convention on Intercountry adoptions, and under the supervision of the South African Central Authority, Intercountry adoptions, as prescribed by the Children’s Act, Act 38 of 2005, is facilitated.
This practice is however strictly regulated, and the following stipulations are applicable, namely:
• Intercountry adoptions should be facilitated within the frame of an established working agreement between two partner organizations, one in the receiving country and one in the country of origin. These agreements are also approved by both the South African Central Authority and the Central Authority of the receiving country. To receive more information about the current working agreements you can contact the South African Central Authority. Contact details provided below.
• If there is no existing working agreement between your country and South Africa, please contact your Central Authority or ISS office.
• Non South African Citizens, having residence in SA can only qualify to adopt if they have been living in the country for a minimum period of five years. If the prospective applicant qualifies, any accredited adoption organization of your choice can be approached.
• If you are a South African citizen temporary living abroad, please also contact the SA Central Authority for more information.
• If you are a SA Citizen now permanently living abroad, the first bullet will also be applicable.
• If you are interested to enter into a new working agreement with a South African organization, please contact the SA Central Authority. Please note that the need for new agreements will be based on the need and reality of the SA Central Authority and accredited organizations.
Abovementioned criteria and stipulations have been set up in an effort to ensure that national adoptions in South Africa will have preference, and that the very important principle of subsidiarily would have been met.