PROCARE Adoptions

A blog about adoption experiences


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Faith. Hope. Love….

 

After almost 5 years of infertility struggles, failed IVF’s and 2 miscarriages, my husband and I had made peace with the fact that we will not have children.  Although this was a tough journey for us; as Christians, we both believe that God is in control and if it was not in his plan for our lives to have a child or children, then we will accept it.

We are blessed to have always had a very strong marriage we never allowed our desire to be parents become and obsession and put pressure on our relationship. In fact, we believe that the hardships we went through, only made us stronger and prepared us for something so much bigger and better than either of us could ever imagine.

Adoption has always been in the back of our minds, even before we knew we would not be able to have children (the “normal” way ). But it was, and I am embarrassed to say, at that time, it was more of a backup plan.

We met a couple who invited us to go to their church. After the service, we were introduced to another couple who had recently adopted. My Husband just started asking questions and details of how they went about the adoption “as it is something we have always considered”. But at the time, we had not spoken about children, let alone thought about adoption for MONTHS. Yet when my husband spoke those words, it was like someone turned on the lights.

In the car on the way home, we made the decision (very casually) to start looking into the adoption process. There is a stigma around adoption; or more so, the process of adoption in South Africa, which made us very cautiously optimistic about this decision.

I started doing research. I read up about the process and where to start. Finding an agency or social worker that you are comfortable with was on top of the list. I researched a list of adoption agencies and I was about 3 agencies down on my list when the Adoption secretary from PROCARE answered the phone.

I am not sure exactly what was more striking about this introduction; the genuine passion in her voice, the fact that she was actually willing and interested in answering my questions and gave me more information that I even knew to ask for; or the mere fact that she was so honest about what we can and should expect; should we make the decision to go ahead. Long story short, I was sold on PROCARE after 2 minutes on the phone with them. If we were to do this thing, we would do it with them.

The first available date to meet with the Adoption social worker was in October. It was explained as an orientation session where after we would be able to make an informed decision if we wanted to go ahead. Again, because of the stigma around adoption; the red tape, the jumping through hoops, unresponsive social workers, long waiting periods, cost implications etc. etc.; we went into this meeting with NO expectations. But when we walked out… boy oh boy, we walked out with a re-ignited hope and realization, that we may very well one day have the family we’ve always dreamed of.

We powered through the paperwork and had our next appointment in November. With each step, the excitement grew stronger. We “graduated” at the end of January. We were officially on the waiting list!!! But somehow it still seemed like something very far away and thinking back, I failed to realize the reality of what was happening.

One day at work I saw a missed a call on my phone from a number I was not familiar with. I phoned back and realized who had phoned. It was PROCARE. My heart started beating so fast, but I kept saying to myself that they probably wanted to clarify something on our paperwork – there is no way this could be, “The Call”. I was put through to the social worker and by this time my heart was beating in my throat and I could physically hear the blood rush in my ears.

It was, “The Call”. There was a baby for us, a perfect little baby girl. But how is this possible?

The emotion I went through in that moment was pure disbelief. Then doubt, fear and then more disbelief. We were set to move into our new house in 10 days. Everything was packed up. We had no nursery. Never mind the nursery, we did not have a single nappy or little baby grow. NOTHING.

My Husband was sitting in a meeting in JHB and could not take my call when I phoned him. I sent him a message to phone me as soon as he could, without giving anything away. But when he phoned me back, somehow, he already knew. All he said was, we have a baby, don’t we? He was so calm and together and sure, and he made all my panic disappear like only he can. And the excitement and overwhelming joy started setting in. (I later learned that his calm demeanor was just a front and that he was freaking out as much as I was, but that he could hear he needed to be calm for me )

Since this moment, there was never any doubt in our minds. Our daughter was coming home. We did not want to wait to say yes to our baby girl, no matter what, this is the baby God has chosen for us. She was already ours. The presentation the very next day was just a formality and we were to meet our precious girl in only 5 days’ time.

Needless to say; the days that followed are a complete blur. Somehow, in a very short time we had everything we needed to welcome our precious baby home.

Leia has just turned ONE. This little lady has just exceeded our expectations in every way. She is strong willed and brave and beautiful. Never in our lives could we ever have imagined the overwhelming love we have for this little girl today. If we had the opportunity to rewrite our story, we would not change a single detail. This is how it was supposed to be. She was always destined to be our daughter. God chose her for us and led us to her. We have unequivocally and irrevocably fallen in love with her. We praise God for our unique story and we truly feel blessed and special about the way that our daughter was chosen for us.

The social worker and every single person we dealt with at PROCARE; You are all Angels! You’ve managed to eliminate all the doubts around this process we ever had. We were seamlessly guided and supported, every step of the way. We never felt lost or alone or unsure. Your passion and love for each baby, adoptive parents and Birth Mom is evident in everything you do. We are forever grateful for what you have done.  Thank you for being so invested in our story. Thank you for helping us find our baby girl and for bringing her home to us!

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I found my son!

 

I’m 31, single, and became a mom for the first time two months ago, when I adopted my little boy, Joel. I am a Biokineticist by training, but I left that to start a sports massage practice in Cape Town about a year ago. I’m passionate about people, justice, my faith, and anything that grows me. In that light, I’ve spent years traveling the world for both work and fun, encountering incredible people, ways of thinking and cultures along the way. This new adventure excites me the most though.

I actually never imagined having a biological child of my own. If ever I pictured my children, even in my teens, they always had someone else’s DNA. Four years ago I moved to Korea and opened a bank account, “Joel’s Account”, with the intention of saving for the possibility of adopting somewhere down the line. No specific time line or prerequisite in mind though. Suddenly, in November of last year, I felt so strongly that I needed to start looking for my son. I signed up for the soonest adoption conference and began the actual paperwork in January. The process was amazing.

I was introduced to PROCARE, at the adoption conference that I attended and knew immediately that I wanted to go through the process with them. It was clear from the beginning that they absolutely understood and supported my desire that this be a restorative process not only for my boy, but for the woman who would be giving him life, and a life. I’m so grateful that she chose to keep him to term, and then chose me to be his mother, a role of which she had no possible means to fulfil. Eight months later, as I was heading out the door to join a Crossfit class, I got the call to say that I had a son. A crazy seven days after that, I looked in my rear-view mirror, and there was a child, my child, sitting in a car seat and we were on our way home. There were forms, home visits, workshops, an emotional meeting with the birth mother, court appearances, and more forms in among the story, but they’re nothing. I found my son.


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World Adoption Day 2017

World Adoption Day 2017

Introduction to Adoption

Adoption is the legal act of permanently placing a child with a parent or parents other than the child’s birth mother or father.

A legal adoption order ends the parental rights of the birth mother and father and hands over the parental rights and responsibilities to the adoptive parents.

Who may adopt a child in South Africa?

According to the Children’s Act (Act 38 of 2005), a child may be adopted:

  • jointly by:
  • a husband and wife, or
  • partners in a permanent domestic life-partnership, or
  • people sharing a common household and forming a permanent family unit,
  • by a widower, widow, divorced or unmarried person,
  • by a married person whose spouse is the parent of the child,
  • by the biological father of a child born out of wedlock, or

by the foster parent of the child.

Types of adoptions

There are various forms of legal adoptions, these are:

  • Related adoption: Adoption of a child by a person who is related to the child.  This includes step-parent adoptions where there are varying levels of openness between the parties in the adoption.
  • Disclosed or open adoption: The identity of the biological parent(s) and the identity of the adoptive parent(s) are known by both parties. This form of adoption may include a post-adoption agreement that provides for future contact or the exchange of information.
  • Closed adoption: In such a case, no identifying details are available and/or exchanged between the adoptive parents and biological parent(s).
  • Same-race adoption: The race of the adoptive parent/s and child is the same.
  • National adoption: A legal adoption facilitated by an accredited adoption social worker and/or organisation where both the adoptive child and parent(s) are South African citizens or have permanent residence in South Africa.
  • Inter-race adoption: The race of the child and adoptive parent(s) differ.
  • Inter-country adoption: A legal adoption facilitated by an accredited adoption organisation where either the child or parents are not South African citizens. South Africa is party to the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoptions. This practice is also regulated by Chapter 18 of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005.

Note: To legalise any inter-country adoptions it is important that social workers get in contact directly with the Registrar of Adoptions in Pretoria via the Departmental Provincial Head Office with the Affiliated Bureau for International Social Services (ISS) in South Africa.

For more information on this, please contact:

The National Office of the International Social Services at (+27) 012 312 7790/91.

There are 4 phases in the adoption process:

  1. Application 
  • In South Africa, the only way in which you can legally adopt a child is by working through an accredited adoption agency, or with the assistance of an adoption social worker, functioning within the statutory accredited adoption system.
  • When working through an adoption agency, the process usually starts with the prospective adoptive parents submitting an application to the agency.

 

  • Each agency has its own set of requirements – it’s a good idea to phone the particular agency to get their set of criteria before you actually apply in writing.
  1. Screening process
  • All prospective adoptive parents are required to undergo a screening and preparation process. This normally involves:
  • orientation meetings,
  • interviews with a social worker,
  • full medical examinations,
  • marriage and psychological assessments,
  • home visits, and
  • police clearance and the checking of references.
  • The screening process allows social workers to get to know prospective adopters as a family, their motivation to adopt and their ability to offer a child a warm, loving and stable home.
  1. Waiting list
  • Once the screening process is complete, applicants are placed on a waiting list for a child. Applicants have their own ideas and wishes about the child they wish to adopt.
  • They can decide about the age and sex of the baby or child they would like to adopt, and adoption agencies will try to meet those personal expectations.
  1. Placement
  • The official placement of the child with the adoptive parents is a legal process, carried out through the Children’s Court.
  • Once the child has been with the new parents for a period of time, and the social worker has assessed the adoption to be in the best interests of the child, the adoption is finalised through the Children’s Court.
  • The child then becomes the legal child of the adoptive parents as if the child was born to them and has all the same rights as a biological child.

Find out more about:

Adopting a child in a non-convention country

Sources:

https://www.westerncape.gov.za/service/adopting-child https://www.facebook.com/WorldAdoptionDay


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A Heartfelt Thanks from 2 Dads.

The first time we read about PROCARE, was in an article in Die Burger about another adoptive parent who celebrated his first Fathers Day as a new Father, after he adopted a baby boy with the help of PROCARE.  

That night we Googled PROCARE, and stumbled on their Blog (this very blog you’re reading now), and spent that whole night reading ALL the inspiring stories, and getting emotional seeing all the blended and beautiful new families in the pictures. People like you. People like us. Just people who want a child, and if we can give a child a better life through adoption, even better.  

The PROCARE Blog gave us new hope, and inspired us to start our journey with PROCARE, and no one else, and by telling our story, we hope we can also inspire other people investigating adoption, but not being completely sure.  

The day we were meeting Nicolas and the most amazing Kangaroo Mother, we will remember for the rest of our lives, and we can’t wait to share his story and journey with him! He adapted so beautifully to us, and the bond between us all is just amazing.

During the adoption process, we made a joke that the baby boy matched with us should also enjoy travelling, have a good sense of humour, and be a good sleeper… He’s all 3 (and so, so much more)! 

In January 2017 we collected the keys to our new house, the house we bought knowing that we want to start a family in. Little did we know but on the very same day our son Nicolas was born! 

We are eternally grateful to PROCARE Team and all social workers involved; and the amazing Kangaroo Mother who spoilt him and gave him love and care when he needed it the most. 

It’s the most amazing feeling being able to proudly call him our son. And we’re his Pappa and Dadda.  

Thank you, PROCARE


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Growing too quickly

Hi there PROCARE.

Time flies… my children are growing up too fast..our little princess just turned 4!  

She just started school last Monday – and big brother is getting taller by the day….. 

So ja…made little birthday table for her before they woke up this morning…family will probably all come around after work … sent some party packs and stuff to school also..so I am sure she will have a super day.

Thought I would send you ladies a note and just let you know that we are forever blessed – Thanks to the Almighty, and PROCARE 

Keep well and hope you have a blessed day.

 


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Little Charmer Boy

Dear PROCARE 

Our son is growing so fast, especially this last period. 

He loves singing, Twinkle star and Wiellie Walie. Lollos is his favourite programme and he does all the dance moves. He is potty trained and reminds us that he is a big boy. (Laugh out loud). 

He also tells us what he wants to wear and some days are really hard, when he chooses a red shorts, blue ‘Lightning Mc Queen’ T shirt and Minions rain boots. 

He is very outspoken and independent, energetic and full of love. 

Our happy little boy, growing into a beautiful little man who just melts all the girls hearts everywhere he goes (Im going to have a huge problem when he is older). My little charmer with his long eyelashes 🙂 

Thank you again PROCARE, our lives has changed so much – FOR THE BETTER since our boy came home. 

Lots of Love

A happy adoptive family

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Our son is amazing.

Our journey to adoption is like quite a few others. We have been struggling with unexplained infertility for five years when we decided to adopt. Unfortunately not all adoption agencies are as professional and passionate at creating families as PROCARE. A wrong choice in agency added another four years to the wait but God’s timing is perfect and our son is amazing.

Having waited all together 9 years by now for a child, I decided to take the plunge, change jobs and pursue my career. Two months later we got a call from PROCARE to let us know our little boy is here at long last and waiting for us. On top of starting a new job and still being in my probation period, we just started major renovations to our house which made our home just about uninhabitable. We could only laugh at the timing of all this and dive in to the unknown.

The day that we went to pick up our son was the scariest day of my life. 10 days instead of 9 months to prepare for a little one is daunting but I would not change it for anything. So many thoughts run through your mind – will he bond with us, will our family and friends accept him as our own, how do you change a nappy. This is our 1st child and we had no idea what to expect. We were absolutely overwhelmed at the love, support, acceptance and joy from our friends and family from day one. On top of that my new employer gave me the grace of maternity leave and the option to return to work when I’m ready. There was just so much favor surrounding the arrival of our son.

Our son is almost a year now and every week is a new discovery both for him and for us.

Thank you PROCARE for help bringing our family together.