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