The role of professionals in the adoption process
If you are thinking about adoption, either facing a crisis pregnancy or wanting to adopt a child, you should be aware that a wide range of resources are available to offer expert assistance and guidance around the different parts of the process.
According to Section 250(1) of the Children’s Act (Act 38 of 2005), only certain people are allowed to provide adoption services – they are:
- a Child Protection Organisation accredited in terms of Section 251 to provide adoption services;
- an adoption social worker (private practitioner as defined in the Act);
- the Central Authority in the case of intercountry adoptions, or
- a Child Protection Organisation accredited in terms of Section 259 to provide intercountry adoption services
All adoption service providers must be accredited in terms of Section 251 of the Children’s Act and comply with the norms, standards and accreditation criteria.
Child Protection Organisations (CPO) designated in terms of Section 107 of the Children’s Act will be accredited to provide national adoption services, provided they meet the requirements for accreditation. CPOs may be accredited by the Central Authority to render intercountry adoption services, provided they render national adoption services and meet the requirements for accreditation.
Social workers in private practice who have registered with the South African Council for Social Service Professions, in terms of the Social Services Professions Act (Act 110 of 1978), as specialising in adoption work will be accredited to render national adoption services, provided they meet the requirements for accreditation.
Should you wish to apply for adoption accreditation you need to contact your nearest Department of Social Development.