|Adoption in South Africa|
A large number of couples, who are unable to conceive naturally, usually consider the other alternative -- adoption. For many couples, the chance to give a baby a home, love and care is far greater than the need to produce a child that contains their mix of DNA. Adoption in South Africa is a costly exercise and childless couples can choose to adopt a South African child, or adopt a child from an Eastern European country.
Most couples use the services of private adoption agencies and when the decision has been made to go the South African adoption route, couples who are desperately looking to adopt, must bear in mind, that the South African adoption system has many black children who are in desperate need of love and care, while children from other races are limited.
Couples will then need to seriously think about whether they are ready to face the challenges which come with raising a child from another race, and how they will be able to combine their own beliefs and practices while bringing up the child in such a way to foster a healthy understanding of their own culture.
Adoption is one of the most rewarding types of parenting, but the fact remains that when a black child is adopted into a white family, the child together with the adoptive family will have to face a new set of challenges, that same-race adoptees need not.
Before the adoption
The first phase of the adoption process will be an investigation and screening. Initially a detailed interview will be conducted with both partners and if all parties are happy with the outcome of the interview, a social worker will carry out a full social assessment as well as a psycho assessment. The family will need to prove that they their relationship is stable and their home are able to accommodate a child. It is important for the social worker to see that both partners in the relationship are eager for the adoption to take place.
After the tests and investigations have been conducted, the prospective parents are then placed on a waiting listing. The length of the wait will be determined by their criteria, again couples in South Africa who are looking only to adopt a Caucasian baby can expect to wait for a number of years and also those who are looking to adopt infants, could also be placed on a waiting list for at least a number of months.
The role of the adoption agency is to serve as go-between, working to satisfy the interests of the birth parents and the adoptive parents. This role includes counselling the birth mother or parents and explaining in full detail what the adoption process entails. Once the adoption has gone through, an agency will also offer ongoing support to both the new adoptive parents and the birth parents and this support will continue until the families are settled.
There are families who initiate the adoption on behalf of the birth parents, either the parents are too young or financially unstable to care for the infant. If the family adoption is to take place within the family, it is highly recommended that a legal adoption route should be followed and it is also important to bear in mind that the decision to give up the child for adopts rests solely with the birth parents.
Over the years, changes in South Africa have caused the adoption process to be changed and this changes, include, the rights of the birthfather and the fact that abortions in the country are now legal.
Things to consider, before initiating the adoption process
As with planning a pregnancy, couples must ask themselves, if they are ready for parenthood. Adopting a baby is the same as giving birth to an infant, in that the parents will be 100% responsible for the child’s health, and wellbeing. Both prospective parents must be willing to accept the responsibility wholeheartedly and neither should feel pressurised in any way.
The cost of raising a child is high and prospective parents need to consider education, together with the many other long term costs of childcare.
Parents need to be emotionally ready to deal with the change in their lifestyle.
Alternative ways to deal with infertility
Infertility can have devastating effects on a couple and in addition to the adoption route there are other ways and methods to overcome infertility. When dealing with infertility, couples are reminded to stand together and explore the options which are available. Infertility, in some cases, can be cured by several effective natural remedies, and with certain prescription medications and these options can be discussed in detail with the couple’s gynaecologist.
For more information on Adoption in South Africa, feel free to visit the website, www.adoption.org/adopt/adoption-agencies-in-south-africa.php which provides interested parties with more information on the types of adoptions in South Africa, as well as contact details for adoption agencies in the country.
- Kathy Baron