Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting of another, usually a child, from that person’s biological or legal parent or parents, and, in so doing, permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities from the biological parent or parents.

“We are not necessarily born Parents, but rather, we become them”


Contemporary adoption practices can be open or closed.

Open adoption allows identifying information to be communicated between adoptive and biological parents.

• The practice of closed adoption (aka secret adoption) seals all identifying information.

Embryo adoption is the donation of embryos remaining after a couple’s in vitro fertilisation treatments have been completed; the embryos are given to another individual or couple, followed by the placement of those embryos into the recipient woman’s uterus.


Choose a social worker / agency. You cannot adopt without the assistance of a social worker.
Complete the screening process. You will need to complete the following key tasks in this process:


Wait for a child. Your social worker will look for suitable candidates and your future childs social worker (they are usually not the same person) is ensuring that he or she is eligible for adoption when the match is finally made.

Meet your child. Once a match is found, the “courtship time” is essential for effective attachment.

The Children’s Court. The social workers submit all of the documentation to the court on your behalf.

A few important factors to consider

This process applies to South African citizens or permanent residents. If you are a foreigner wanting to adopt a South African child, please refer to the South African Government Services for Adoption (CLICK HERE) website for the correct process and to see if your country has a treaty with South Africa for you to adopt a South African child. South Africa is predominantly a sending nation. In other words, while people from other countries can (under some circumstances) adopt South African children, as a South African citizen living in this country, you cannot adopt a child from outside of South Africa.

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