Search for Origins/ Adoptee Search
If you would like to trace a child given up for adoption or a birth family, you must first be aware of the law regarding search for origins.
What the law says
According to the Children’s Act (Act 38 of 2005), information contained in the Adoption Register may not be disclosed to any person except
- to an adopted person after the child has reached the age of 18;
- to the adoptive parent of an adopted child after the child has reached the age of 18; or
- to the biological parent or previous adoptive parent of an adopted child after the child has reached the age of 18, but only if the adoptive parent and the adopted child give their consent in writing.
If you to begin the process of a search, you can contact the adoption agency or social worker that handled the adoption directly as they would have a file on the adoption. Another option is to contact the Registrar of Adoptions (012 312 7593) at the Department of Social Development in Pretoria, where all adoptions done throughout the country must be registered. The Registrar would be able to determine which agency processed the adoption, supply the adoptee with a copy of their adoption order and, where possible, provide updated information on the whereabouts of the birth parents. Understand that a search is not always successful because as all parties need to agree before information is disclosed.
The Director General may require a person to receive counselling before disclosing any information contained in the Adoption Register, to that person.