Are you interested in knowing more about how to adopt a child in the correct and legal manner in South Africa? If so, read on!

Important dos & don’ts when it comes to adoption
 Many families in South Africa consider adopting a child, either because they feel they can provide a loving home for a child who needs a family, or because they are unable to have biological children. Photo by Unsplash

Did you know that in South Africa, the only way in which you can legally adopt a child is by working through an accredited adoption agency, or with the assistance of an adoption social worker functioning within the statutory accredited adoption system?

Since its inception, the National Adoption Coalition of South Africa (NACSA) has worked to build communities that put the needs and rights of adoptable children first. In support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals adopted in August 2015, a key focus has been to end abuse, exploitation, trafficking, and all forms of violence against children by 2030.

Legally compliant adoptions

Ensuring that adoptions take place in a legally compliant manner is crucial in protecting the rights of the child, the birth parents, and the adoptive parents. A key focus of NACSA has been on creating positive awareness for the option of adoption and making it accessible to all South Africans.

“While adoptions have increased marginally this year, they have declined by more than 50% over the past decade. One of the key issues we hope to address is the right way to adopt so that the best interests of the child are met. While we sympathise with adoptive parents relating to the timely and emotional process of adoption, first and foremost is to ensure that there is a correct match between a child and parents, and the rights of the child are sacrosanct,” explains Katinka Pieterse of NACSA.

“We have seen examples on social media, of desperate mothers advertising children for ‘adoption’ or unregistered and unaccredited baby homes ‘selling’ children to unknowing parents. Abductions are a reality, as is dealing directly with a birth parent without an accredited social worker and accepting a child from a public servant without going through the legal adoption process.”

The seven-step legal process

NACSA has developed various educational materials detailing the correct, seven-step legal process of adoption as follows:

  1. Application
  2. Orientation
  3. Screening
  4. Waiting list
  5. Identifying child for adoption
  6. Legalisation
  7. Finalisation

Adopting a child will change your life forever

Adopting a child will change your life forever, and your heart and family will grow in ways you didn’t even know were possible. Admittedly the adoption process is a melting pot of red tape, emotions, paperwork, and patience. But for good reason  – finding out if adoption is right for you and getting started on fulfilling your dream of adopting a child to love and provide for is a journey, and at its core is first and foremost the rights and best interest of the child.  

To learn more about the right way to adopt, go to or call 0800 864 658 for any adoption queries.

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