The Children’s Act governs adoption within South Africa as well as inter-country adoption. The general rule, despite certain court ordered exceptions, is that an adoption order terminates any previous order made in respect of the placement of the child. It furthermore terminates all parental responsibilities and rights any person had in respect of the child immediately before the adoption as well as all rights and responsibilities the child had as against that person and that person’s family members. However before one proceeds with a adoption, one will have to ensure that you are eligible to adopt and secondly that the child is an adoptable child.

What is meant by an adoptable Child?
Firstly, only a minor can be adopted and secondly the minor must be adoptable. A child will be adoptable in any of the following circumstances:

  1. He or she is an orphan and has no guardian or caregiver who would be willing to adopt the child.
  2. The whereabouts of the child’s parents or guardian cannot be established.
  3. The child has been abandoned.
  4. The child has suffered abuse by the hands of the parents or the guardian or they have deliberately neglected the child or allowed the child to be abused or deliberately neglected.
  5. The child is in need of a permanent alternative placement.

The adoptive parent (s)
In short, any fit and proper person who has undergone the required assessment by a adoption social worked will be allowed to adopt a child. The prospective adoptive parent or parents will have to apply for an adoption order in the prescribed manner at the children’s court. The application will be supported by a report drafted by the adoption social worked, who will indicate whether the child is adoptable, and whether the adoption is in the child’s best interest as required by the Children’s Act. The aforesaid process should not be taken lightly as you as the adoptive parent will be tasked with taking care of the child, a child who deserved not only to be taken care of but also to be loved and to be cherished. The aforesaid process can be technical and strenuous as adoptive parent will invest a lot of time and emotion into the child and the process. It is for the aforesaid reason that we suggest that you seek advise and guidance when it comes to the formalities and technical aspects of the adoption process and we here at Voss Wiese Haggard Inc are here to assist you all the way.