Adoption refers to the act of legally diverting the rights and entitlement to a child to a different parent, who is not the biological one to the baby. The process changes the right to ownership from the biological parents of the baby to the foster ones. For parents wishing to take this road, being informed on the process of adoption in South Africa is essential.
How can I legally adopt a child? If you are interested in arrogating a child in South Africa, there are a set of requirements that you, as a parent, is expected to meet. The requirements will dictate whether or not you qualify to go ahead with the process. They will also state the type of espousal that you will be going for. Apart from the requirements, there is the screening process of adoption in South Africa. Being informed about the essential information in the process will help make things run smoother for you.
Adoption South Africa
Adoption is one of the most paramount acts of love. What makes it stand out is the willingness to provide a home and the requirements to a kid who would have otherwise lacked those needs. In most cases, the kids who are up for arrogation are orphaned, while others are those whose parents chose to abandon. The legal process of arrogation is done through the accredited adoption agencies, with the help of an adoption social worker. This is the only stipulated procedure of arrogation.
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How do you adopt a child in South Africa?
Before we get to the procedure, it is wise to set things straight on the groups of people that are eligible for the process. These people are;
- A couple, regardless of whether or not they are officially married.
- A widower, a widower, a divorcee or someone unmarried.
- The biological father of the kid, for cases where the kid was born out of wedlock.
- Someone who is married to either of the biological parents of the kid.
- The kid's foster parents.
Types of adoption
There are seven legal espousal types. These are:
1. Disclosed adoption
In this kind of arrogation, the identity of the biological parents and that of the adoptive parents is revealed to both of the parties. At times, this process may involve an agreement for the biological parents to meet and exchange information with the child.
2. Related adoption
For this kind of espousal, the parents of the baby are related to them. The most common example is that of a step parent. There is some level of openness in the process, considering that they are related.
3. Closed adoption
In this kind of arrogation, no sort of exchange of information is involved between the adoptive parents and the biological parents of the baby. In most cases, it occurs in situations where there is no identifying information about the child's biological parents.
4. Same-race adoption
This is the type of espousal whereby the parents and the child are of the same race.
5. Inter-race adoption
For this case, the arrogation parents are of a different race from that of the kid.
6. National adoption
This is the type of arrogation whereby the adoptive parents of the child are South African residents and citizens.
7. Intercountry adoption
This is an espousal whereby either of the adoptive parents is not a citizen of South Africa.
Professionals involved in the adoption process
Cases of child abandonment in South Africa have become so rampant. As a way of reducing the rates of homelessness, the country, through the Children’s Act, provided the option of adoption. The Act also stipulated the professionals who are responsible for the process. The professionals who have a role to play in the process are;
1. Social workers in private practice
The social worker is expected to be a registered member of the South African Council for Social Service Professions, in fulfilment of the Social Services Professions Act 110 of 1978.
2. Child Protection Organisations
Child Protection Organisations will be allowed to take part in the process only if they meet the accreditation requirements in Section 107 of the Children’s Act.
The adoption process in South Africa
After going through the requirements and ascertaining that you are qualified, the next question that you should stop to ask yourself is the process on how to adopt a child in South Africa. Being a legal process, great precaution ought to be taken. The simplest way is with the help of an adoption social worker.
Alternatively, one can go through the arrogation process through an accredited adoption agency. With the agency, the first step involves writing an application to any of the nearby adoption agencies in South Africa. Regardless of whether you intend to apply through the private adoption agencies in South Africa or not, it is wise to be informed on the criteria of screening, since each agency has its requirements.
After writing and submitting the application, the step that follows involves screening and preparation. During this process, the prospective parent goes through a series of interviews to ensure that they are fit to take the kid in. They also go through counselling. It is in this stage that the social workers visit the home of the prospective foster parent to ascertain that the conditions in the home are fit for the kid's upbringing. To crown it all, police clearance forms are filled in
As soon as screening has been done, and the prospective foster parent qualifies to go on with the following step, they are issued with waiting lists. During this stage, they are also at liberty to give the qualities, age and sex of the baby that they wish to take in.
The step that follows is matching the kids to their foster parents. This is the most emotional moment of the steps on how to adopt a baby. The kids are matched with their foster parents, an action that marks the beginning of a new story in their lives. The agency then arranges a schedule for the parents to meet the kid. The length of this stage is greatly influenced by the age of the baby.
When the stipulated period of the parent visiting the kid elapses, the final procedure that cements the fact that the kid has a new home and family happens. This is a legal process that is done in the Children's court with a report from a social worker. The social worker works in the best interests of the kid. As soon as the court authorises the process, the child legally belongs to his or her foster parents.
How much does adoption cost in South Africa?
The cost that one is likely to incur during the entire process depends on the agency that one goes to. The agents can charge as much as R60,000, which includes all the services that one gets during the whole process, including counselling.
Before you make the first move, it is wise and mandatory for you to go through such essential details to ensure that you are knowledgeable about what adoption in South Africa is like.
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