Who can adopt?2020-05-04T12:02:07+02:00

Adoption in South Africa

Who can adopt a child

According to South African adoption legislation, namely the Child Care Act of 1983, a child may be adopted by:

  1. A married couple in a joint adoption.
  2. Life partners, same sex or otherwise, in a joint adoption.
  3. A person who has married the parent of a child can adopt the child, with the biological father’s consent. This is called the adoption of a stepchild.
  4. A single parent/person can adopt a child.


Any child may be adopted provided that they are under the age of 18 and have been abandoned or orphaned. If the child’s parents are still alive, both parents must consent.

Due consideration to cultural differences in placements – including language and religion however cross-cultural placements are not outlawed.

  • The age of the adoptive parent/s will be taken into consideration.
  • Adoption may take place via social workers – usually as private adoption agencies – or via non-profit government organisations.
  • In non-abandonment adoptions, the birth mother has 60 days from the time of the birth in which she may change her mind about putting her child up for

Most of the adoptions in South Africa stem from abandoned babies. In these cases, it may take up to 8 months before the child can be released from a place of safety whilst social workers attempt to trace the biological parents.

Find out if there are any adoption agencies near me. 

Are you interested in the adoption process?

Ask a question below about adoption in South Africa or about where you can find adoption agencies.

Source: Marie Stopes South Africa (Safe Abortion and Post Abortion Family Planning)


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