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Intercountry Adoptions

As a society, South Africa is facing many challenges when it comes to the plight of our children. Families and children are affected by poverty, HIV/ aids, abandonment, violence and the breakdown of families.

It is always a preferable option to offer a child a permanent substitute family through adoption, rather than care in an institution.

In South Africa, adoptions are currently a source of alternative care that is underutilized. This is evident in the low number of placements made per annum. There are many reasons for the low numbers and currently the adoption community is working very hard to raise sufficient awareness and to be able to change this reality.

South Africa is a party to the Hague Convention on Inter-country adoptions, and to be as effective as possible in enabling placements, our country has also entered into agreements with specific countries in the field of inter-country adoptions. national adoptions will, however, always take precedence over international adoptions. Inter-country adoptions are regulated by the Children's Act, 38 of 2005 and only accredited Child Protection Organizations are in a position to render the special services associated with inter-country adoptions. This is done under the supervision of the South African Central Authority.

In total, Abba has working agreements with five countries in Europe and Scandinavia under the mandate of the South African Central Authority. This Authority has copies of every active working agreement between Abba Adoptions and foreign partners. They recognize and approve each and every inter-country adoption after taking into consideration all efforts by this organization to place the child locally. We have an existing working agreement with the following contact partners in Europe and Scandinavia:

  • WERELDKINDEREN – The Netherlands
  • INTERPEDIA – Finland

Adoption mostly concerns abandoned children and children who are deprived of direct family care. They need adoptive families who are committed and caring and will offer an element of permanency and security to their lives. In addition to a general capacity for adoptive parenthood, adoptive parents must have the capacity to handle the trans-racial, trans-cultural and transnational aspects of adoption. The ideal scenario is one where a child is to be cared for by their biological parent(s). Failing this, a suitable national solution is sought. If no option for a national placement exists, careful consideration will be given to the prospect of an inter-country adoption.

Once all efforts to place a child nationaly have failed, a written application can be made to the South African Central Authority for an Inter-country adoption under Section 17 of the Children's Act, 38 of 2005. Once approval is received, the child is officially proposed to the contract partner. The prospective parents are informed and if they accept, the match is officially confirmed by the foreign Central Authority. This is then regulated by a legal inter-country agreement between South Africa and the relevant foreign country.

Herewith information regarding the relevant agency in South Africa to be contacted, for the country from which the query originates:

Austria Impilo www.impilo.org.za
Australia Cape Town Child www.helpkids.org.za
Belgium ENGO www.engo.co.za
Johannesburg Child Welfare www.jhbchildwelfare.co.za
Catholic Women's League www.cwl.org.za
Canada Christian Social Services www.catckzn.co.za
Denmark Impilo www.impilo.org.za
Abba Specialist Adoptions www.abbaadoptions.co.za
France Wandisa www.wandisa.com
Finland Johannesburg Child Welfare www.jhbchildwelfare.co.za
Abba Specialist Adoptions www.abbaadoptions.co.za
Germany Abba Specialist Adoptions www.abbaadoptions.co.za
India Catholic Women's League www.cwl.org.za
LuxembourghImpilo www.impilo.org.za
NetherlandsAbba Specialist Adoptions www.abbaadoptions.co.za
Wandisa www.wandisa.com
Norway Abba Specialist Adoptions www.abbaadoptions.co.za
Sweden Abba Specialist Adoptions www.abbaadoptions.co.za
United Kingdom Durban Child Welfare www.cwdd.org.za
USA Johannesburg Child Welfare www.jhbchildwelfare.co.za