Abba has a specialised adoption program. The organisation has more than 20 years’ experience in adoption work and all our adoption social workers are registered for a speciality in adoption work with the South African Council for Social Service Professions. The organisation is accredited for both National & Intercountry adoptions.
National Adoption Program
Our Adoption services include:
- Adoptability assessment of children in need of permanent alternative family care
- Adoption counselling of adoption minded birthparents
- Adoption education
- Legal finalisation
More detailed information of the screening and adoption parent education services:
Section 231 of the Children’s Act states that in order to adopt one need to be over the age of 18 years and have been screened to be fit and proper by an adoption social worker. This means that all parents wanting to adopt needs to undergo a screening process to establish whether they are fit and proper to be entrusted with the full responsibilities of a child. This is also part of the commitment that we make to the birth families that we counsel – that the family who will adopt the child will be able to provide; materially, emotionally, spiritually and educationally.
The screening process at Abba focuses on several aspects of a person/couple. The main aim is to ensure that adoptive parents are emotionally healthy, stable as well as willing and able to deal with the challenges that come with adoption. To investigate this it is important to look at the following:
- Motive for adoption
- General health
- Support system (including belief system)
- Marriage relationship
- Past relationships and interpersonal functioning
- Parenting philosophy/ relationship with biological children (if applicable)
- Historical attachments
- Work history and financial ability
None of these aspects are more important than another and the focus is on making a recommendation and motivation to court, proving that the prospective adoptive parents will be able to provide a home environment that is conducive to building resilience and overcoming of adverse early childhood experiences. Abba’s highly skilled and experienced team approaches this with the aim of empowering and enabling prospective adoptive parents, rather than disqualifying applicants.
Adoptive applicant education/preparation course
A unique feature of the adoption process through Abba is the preparation course that is presented over a three day period as part of the screening process. The aim of this course is to provide preparation and training within in therapeutic group setting to assist parents deal with the unique challenges that come with adoption. The group focuses on the following themes:
- The adoption triad
- Nature versus nurture
- What, when and how to tell your child about their history
- Inter-race adoption
- Adopting an older child
- Adoption process overview
The feedback that we have received over the years from couples and individuals who have attended these groups has been overwhelmingly positive and participants found it informative, empowering and building their parenting skills.
Intercountry Adoption Program
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 Intercountry 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 intercountry adoptions. National adoptions will, however, always take precedence over international adoptions. Intercountry 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 intercountry adoptions. This is done under the supervision of the South African Central Authority.
Abba currently has been mandated by SACA to work with the following organisations and countries in this regard:
- EVANGELISCHER VEREIN – Germany
- CHILDREN OF THE WORLD – Norway
- ADOPTIONSCENTRUM – Sweden
- WERELDKINDEREN – The Netherlands
- INTERPEDIA – Finland
For any other enquiries regarding adoptions to and from other countries please contact the National Department of Social Development on LindiweMa@dsd.gov.za