Adopting a Child

Adopting a Child

17 May 2018

For couples who have pinned their hope on conceiving a child through IVF, failure can be a devastating blow.

If you’ve given up hope with fertility and life without children is not an option, maybe it’s time to think about adoption. When it becomes more about becoming a parent than getting pregnant – when you’ve crossed that bridge – you’re in a place where it’s much easier to embrace the thought. Researchers at Gothenburg University found that simply having kids in the family had more impact on a couple’s state of mind than whether they were biologically their own offspring. In other words, having kids in your house will enhance your quality of life, whether they are your biological children or not.

However – and this is a big one – if you are part of a couple, both of you need to feel convinced that this is the right decision for you before you introduce an adopted child into your family. Your heart will rule your head on this one! The decision to have or to adopt a child takes two “yeses” or one “no”.

So, when you feel ready to open you heart and home to one of the more than 500 000 children in South Africa in desperate need of a loving family, do some research.

The only way to legally adopt a child in South Africa is by working through an accredited adoption agency, or with the assistance of an adoption social worker, functioning within the statutory accredited adoption system. Make sure to contact the National Adoption Coalition for a list of reputable social workers and agencies.

There will be a screening process which involves interviews, medical examinations, marriage and psychological assessments, home visits and police clearances; to name but a few. The cost of an adoption could vary between R12 000 to R28 000, or even up to R40 000 if the adoptive parents are paying medical expenses for the birth.

True, the adoption process in South Africa comes with its own challenges, but when your baby looks into your eyes and smiles for the first time, it will all be worth it!

Adoption is so much more than a legal procedure. It is also about the creation of a family and we’ve looked at a few tips from experts to prospective adoptive parents:

A baby or child just separated from their world needs closeness and comfort. They may not be able to settle in by themselves, so keep your baby close. Ease the transition by temporarily moving the crib into your bedroom or placing a mattress for you in your child’s room until your child feels safe.

When your baby comes home keep it low key. You and baby need to get to know each other to be able to bond. Don’t introduce to many people at first.

Give love time. You may like, but not love your baby right away. And that’s okay! It doesn’t happen all at once, relationships take time. It’s normal.

Set up a support system.

Be prepared to tell your child’s story. Be open about the adoption from the start. The information about their first family is not your secret to keep. If you’re able, put together a scrapbook with photos and documents about your child’s first family and the adoption process.

This is an emotional time, take care of yourself.

Thank you to all the birth mothers out there that have enabled so many to become mothers. Good luck on this amazing journey!


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.

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