Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

I spoke with a concerned adoptive father regarding sections 249 and 259 of the amendment bill for the Children’s Act of 2005, which will ban fees related to the adoptive process. He shared with me the moving story of how he and his wife came to adopt their daughter. 

The young girl’s biological mother had an unplanned pregnancy, and in an act of love and pure selflessness chose to have her adopted so that she could enjoy the best possible life. Understanding the tremendous sacrifice of the biological mother, the new adoptive parents have opted to share photos and updates of the child with the biological mother through a social worker. Additionally, the young girl will be able to meet her biological mother once she turns 18 if she chooses to.

I was then curious about the intercultural aspect of the adoption and asked him whether he is taking any measures to educate his  daughter on her heritage? He explained that he and his wife are studying the biological mother’s culture and language and will try to actively raise their daughter in both her biological and adopted cultures.

Stories such as this remind me of the importance of adoption in our society. There are currently 3.7-million orphaned and vulnerable children in our country, and we can scarcely afford to eliminate another successful form of child protection.

By making it illegal to charge fees for adoptive services we are not only increasing the workload of state social workers but eliminating an entire industry that not only facilitates the majority of adoptions but employs countless professionals, including private social workers, medical professionals, adoption agencies psychologists, immigration specialists and many others.

Albert Fritz
Western Cape social development MEC