I am so excited about the great changes that are being made in the adoption programs out of Africa. African adoption is such a popular option for people of the United States yet it has been struggling under complaints of fraud and paper mishandling. This has made it difficult for prospective parents to commit to adoption from these countries.
This is where the changes are so great. On June 6, 2012, the United State’s Special Advisor for Children’s Issues and the US Consulate General Johannesburg officials to confirm that South Africa was meeting its adoption goals. These goals are related to joining the Hague Convention. The South African Ministry of Social Development’s Central Authority (SACA) confirmed that it has authorized two US adoption service providers to contract with South African agencies to process adoptions under the Hague Adoption Convention. This is great news for prospective parents who desire to adopt from Africa.
The two approved agencies are: Bethany Christian Services and Spence-Chapin Services to Family and Children. Both of these agencies are allowed to accept applications for adoption from this country.
SACA also reviewed their rules on adoption of children by people who have citizenship in South Africa. If the prospective parent is residing in the US can follow the Convention statutes to complete an adoption whether they have South African citizenship or not. They must follow the statutes of meet the 5 year residency requirement that South Africa has in place. What a tremendous step by the South African government. This move will allow more adoptions to occur.
In other areas of Africa, things continue to move forward. Some of the countries who have struggled with fraud and paper mishandling in the past are re-aligning their programs and moving forward. This is good news for prospective adoptive parents. The number of adoptions from Africa fell off in the last year but will rise because of the amount of work being put into the programs.
If you are interested in adopting from Africa, please use a reputable agency. There have been problems in the past. The United States government cautions strongly against entering into any adoption relationship that is with a reputable, approved agency. The tragedy of fraud has been too real for many people.
At this point, most African countries are open and accepting applications for adoption. South Africa is the only country within Africa that is working toward its Hague Convention ratification. The rest are not regulated by the international Hague Convention.