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1. Services to Birth families facing an unplanned pregnancy

  • Option counselling:
  • Receiving news of an unplanned pregnancy can be very difficult and emotional. Our best advice to people faced with this reality is to set about making an informed decision. An informed decision means that you have studied all your options, understand the consequences of each decision, analysed your and your child's wellbeing, and made a choice that reflects what you've learned and discovered about yourself, your situation, and your needs.
    These options can include parenting, foster care, adoption, kinship care, and abortion. At Abba we are in a position to offer support and referrals depending on the option chosen.
    If adoption is the preferred option, we offer the following:

    • Holistic and ethical adoption support services and counselling on the legal and emotional implications to the birth family
    • Confidential services acknowledging and respecting the impact of an unplanned pregnancy, knowing that it will have permanent implications for the birthparents, birth family, adoptive child and adoptive parents
    • Individualized services according to the needs of the birth family, respecting their wishes as far as possible within the legal framework
    • In depth social work services including individual and group counselling sessions, legal guidance and support, matching and placement involvement and after care

  • Advice to Birth Fathers
  • We also offer counselling and advice for Birth Fathers. The law has changed with regard to the rights of the birth father and we seek to ensure that these rights, as entrenched in The Children's Act, are understood. In brief, natural fathers have the right to be informed of the pregnancy, be involved and have the opportunity to acknowledge paternity and be included in the registration of the child's birth. He also has the right to accept or oppose an adoption, or apply to adopt the child himself. With these rights come responsibilities. It is important that a natural father be counselled on his options, rights and responsibilities.

2. Child Protection Services

Our services in this regard focus on swift and meaningful assistance serving children in need. These include:

  • Admission and Statutory Services: Professional and expedient assistance to the formal system when children between the age of birth and six years are found and appear to be abandoned or in need of permanent alternative care
    We also specifically focus on finding adoptive families for children with special medical and emotional needs
  • Statutory services and holistic assessment according to the stipulations of the Children's Act, 38 of 2005, to determine the best permanent placement option for a specific child
  • Liaising with several registered Child and Youth Care Centres to find the most suitable place of temporary care, pending permanent placement. All babies are legally placed in places of temporary care or registered child care homes that offer high quality and individualized care, while the child's adoptability is assessed. These homes have a high ratio of caretakers to babies which ensures that each baby receives individual love, attention and stimulation. Care workers are trained to keep records of the babies' development and milestones so that this crucial information is available to adoptive parents.
  • Therapeutic support, origin enquiries and assistance in tracing of the parties involved in the adoption when the child reaches the age of 18

Adoption is a personalized life plan for a child and must be determined on the basis of a study of their psychological, social, spiritual, medical, ethnic, cultural and legal status. Professional medical, developmental and emotional assessments are conducted according to Adoption policy and protocol. This is to ensure accurate and complete records to facilitate matching and placement with a committed, equipped and suitable adoptive family. As far as possible a child study, describing the background and all other relevant information on the child, is be prepared and will accompany the child when they are placed.

3. Services to Adoptive parents

Adoption is the legal process by which the rights and responsibilities for a child are wilfully surrendered by one set of parents and taken on by another. As part of its full spectrum of services, Abba also offers comprehensive services to adoptive parents, ever mindful that it is much more than a legal process, but one through which to create or extend a family.

There are many considerations before embarking on the adoption journey. It is a journey that results in a lifelong commitment, one that has the power to change multiple lives, forever. Adopting a child involves making deliberate choices and asking oneself important questions about your ability to offer unconditional love to a child born from someone else, who may have a different ethnicity to your own.

Services include those to facilitate family, national adoptions, as well as inter-country adoptions.