PROCARE Adoptions

A blog about adoption experiences


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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.


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Being Grandad

 

When I first heard that my daughter and her spouse plan to adopt a black baby boy, I had quite a number of concerns: “You have only been married for over a year is it not too soon to have children?” “You do not earn big salaries, how will you be able to cope financially?” “Who will look after the baby when you are at work?” “A black boy will have difficulties to be part of a white family, especially when he grows older.” “This is not the picture I had in mind for my grandchild.”

The process for adoption went ahead and all the relevant social work and statutory requirements were met. Everybody, including my wife, seemed to be very happy and excited. I, however, did not even talk about it because I was struggling to come to grips with the idea and my concerns remained.

Then the first day arrived when I saw him.  He was still very small and everyone was smiling and exited and wanted to hold him.  When they suggested that I should hold him I declined and said not for now. I normally do not like to hold small babies and normally do not get excited about babies.  In this instance, it was even worse for me.  I did feel somewhat guilty for not being happy and not holding him, but I realised that I was being honest with myself and family.  I did not judge or condemn my daughter for the adoption but it was quite difficult to come to grips with the reality thereof.  I must admit that although I am not a racist and have friends of colour, there still might have been some old deeply hidden paradigms that were challenged inside me.  Things that made me think, especially from my Christian perspective on life.  What did inspire me though was to see my daughter being overwhelmed with joy! I realised how much this moment meant to her.

Time went by.  I saw the baby more frequently and got to hold him.  I thought about the fact that God, in His infinite wisdom, allowed this young boy to end up in my daughter’s home and in our family, and not in the township where his natural mother lives.  And yes, although there will be challenges for a black boy in a white family, there will also be many benefits and opportunities for him.  At first, when my daughter referred to me as being his grandfather, it made me feel uncomfortable, but I became more accustomed to the idea.

As the baby grew older, I got very fond of the little one.  When he started walking and started to say his first words, I shared the exited with the other family members.  One day he was waggling down the passage and called out for me: “Oupa! Oupa!”.  Well, I think that was a defining moment in my relationship with him.

Eventually that what everyone predicted (and I might have doubted) became true – he crept into my heart and I started loving him.  The natural relationship between a grandson and grandfather started to develop and I started showing him things and telling him things and spending time with him when he visits.  I am discovering his unique personality and his amazing character, alertness and observation abilities.  I love playing with him and having fun with him.

 

Today I feel proud to introduce him to other people as my grandson and I am looking forward to seeing how he will develop in future.  I aim to be there for him as a granddad for as long as I am privileged to share the wonderful gift of life with him.  I thank God for letting him into my life and for enriching it.

Oupa Daniel