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South Africa

Adoption from South Africa

Do you consider adopting a child from South Africa? You can read more about this on this page. The interest of the child is always the most important factor, you can read more about this at our basic principles.

Wereldkinderen has been a mediator for South Africa for about 20 years now. In the past four years 90 children from South Africa found a home in the Netherlands.


The children that qualify for foreign adoption vary in age between 1.5 and a maximum of 6 years. This concerns children who were abandoned or who were left in the hospital immediately after they were born. In that case, the name of the biological mother is known, but despite that it often turns out that she cannot be found. It hardly ever happens that a mother is found or that she is known. These children all have a severely burdened personal history, amongst which drug abuse or alcohol abuse of the biological parents.


All applications are assessed by Wereldkinderen. Wereldkinderen prioritizes the specific needs and rights of children.

In order to be able to adopt a child from South Africa, you have to meet the following conditions:

  • You possess a valid principle consent
  • In case you make a joint application, you have to be married
  • You give permission for and are open for the adoption of a child that is at least 48 months old
  • If you already have a child living with you, then you can only start the adoption procedure when the youngest child is at least 5.5 years old. You can register at Wereldkinderen at an earlier date though, for you will then be placed on the waiting-list.
  • You give permission for and are open for the adoption of a child that is HIV positive
  • You give permission for and are open for the adoption of a child that has a severely burdened history of origin
  • You give permission for and are open for the adoption of a child that was born premature
  • The applicant/one of the applicants has a job
  • You will travel to South Africa
  • You are fluent in English
  • You can submit a certificate of a physician that you are in good mental and physical health
  • The prospective adoptive parents that are born in South Africa have preference over couples of other nationalities


For the intercountry adoption programme we cooperate with Abba Adoptions in Pretoria. Adoption is under the responsibility of the Ministry of Social Development. South Africa has ratified the Hague Adoption Convention. All procedures are in accordance with this treaty.


After intake you will make sure that the documents and the paperwork for the adoption procedure in South Africa are taken care of. After these documents were sent, it will take an average of three years before you receive a proposal. The matching does not occur based on order of application by the parents, because parents are sought for a child and not vice versa.

You can go to South Africa after about ten days up to four months after having accepted the proposal. In this period a conversation about the departure will take place. Abba adoptions takes care of everything regarding the adoption of your child and will make sure that you receive proper guidance during your stay in South Africa. You will stay in South Africa for about four weeks.

The children will go to the Netherlands with a temporary Dutch passport. When you arrive back in the Netherlands, you will be informed on the follow-up obligations. You do not have to start a procedure in accordance with Dutch law. You can immediately register your child at your municipality. Pay attention: you can register your child with its biological first name and your surname. If you want to change the first name or if you want to add a name, then you wait for the extended birth certificate from South Africa or you will start legal proceedings via court for name change.