Government Should Promote Adoption

02 June 2013    



As Child Protection Week draws to a close today, the IFP has called on Government to put greater focus on our country's adoption crisis.


There are an estimated 1.5 million orphans in South Africa, yet there has not been a substantial increase in adoptions year on year. An average of about 2,000 children are adopted annually, which does not come close to reducing the number of children without parents. Parental deaths due to HIV/AIDS, and teenage pregnancies, are driving an increase in orphans in South Africa.


IFP spokesperson on Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Ms Liezl van der Merwe MP said, "Adoption can be a thorny issue in some parts of our country. Many potential adopters prefer to adopt children of the same race, while in some communities adoption is seen as going against one's culture."


In South Africa, emphasis is generally placed on families having their own biological children, rather than adopting children from other families.


"This situation needs to change and Government can help the process along by promoting adoption and removing bureaucratic barriers. There is still no major widespread push for families to adopt, and information regarding adoption is limited and not as widely distributed as it should be, especially amongst people in rural areas," said van der Merwe.


One of the challenges that must be addressed is the bottle-neck that exists in the Department of Social Development when it comes to timeframes for adoption. Said van der Merwe, "In some provinces, it can take up to six months to get the necessary forms from the Department. We can't let inefficient administration keep orphans and potential parents apart. This affects an entire generation of citizens, to whom we owe our very best efforts."



Ms Liezl van der Merwe MP,

IFP spokesperson on Women, Children and People with Disabilities, on 082 729 2510.