Who can adopt?

According to the Children’s Act (Act 38 of 2005), a child may be adopted;

  • Jointly by a husband and wife, partners in a permanent domestic life-partnership, or other persons sharing a common household and forming a permanent family unit
  • By a widower, widow, divorced or unmarried person
  • By a married person whose spouse is the parent of the child
  • By the biological father of a child born out of wedlock
  • By the foster parent of the child.

The screening process

All prospective parents go through a screening process, which can take up to six months, and normally involves;

  •  Orientation meetings
  • Interviews with a social worker
  • Full medicals
  • Marriage and psychological assessments
  • Home visits
  • Police clearance
  • References.

After that, there is a legal process carried out through the Children’s Court. This screening process can be tough and can take time, but for good reason, as the interest of the child is of utmost importance.

Valuable resources during and after adoption

During the process and after the adoption, it helps to know where to access valuable resources.

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After I adopted my son in 2004, I battled to find a good children’s story book about adoption so I wrote called The Greatest Gift.

Through this book, I met a lot of people who needed emotional support as well as good, correct information on adoption. I studied to qualify as a counsellor and I started my practice, called Adoptmom which offers assistance to people considering adoption.

For me, the decision to adopt was easy. I wanted a baby and my body would not respond so I adopted and my wish came true. Once the application process is done and you have your child in your arms, the adoption seems secondary. You are a parent just like anyone else and you are overwhelmed with love and terror just like all new parents. I must emphasise the importance of seeking counselling to work through any grief that infertility may bring and to understand adoption entirely.

Useful resources:

You can find lots and lots of adoption books on Amazon.com. To make it easy, I have grouped them all together on my website.

For counselling and general advice, you will find these pages useful:

www.adoptmom.co.za

www.adoption.org.za

https://www.facebook.com/groups/272818456237019/

Article by: Terri Lailvaux – Adoptmom, Counsellor – Dip C (Inst NH)