Department Of Social Development Adoption

By | December 15, 2021

Department Of Social Development Adoption, Adoption is the placement of a child in the permanent care of a person who is not their biological parent or permanent guardian. Adoption provides a permanent or stable family life for children who would otherwise be deprived of one. 

Inter country adoption is when a child is adopted by a person or persons from another country.

Prescriptions regarding the overall adoption service apply to the Children’s Court, adoption agencies and adoptive parents. Prescriptions regarding the inter-country adoption service apply to local and foreign clients who make enquiries, accredited adoption agencies and central authorities of other countries


Any child in need of care up to the age of 18


  •  Complete a form at your nearest Social Development office or Children’s Court.
  • Your application will be assessed to determine your suitability as an adoptive parent. 
  • If your application is successful, the Commissioner of Welfare will issue an adoption order.
  • After the Commissioner has issued the adoption order, documents are sent to the Registrar of Adoptions for registration.
  • The Registrar of Adoptions will subsequently issue a certified copy of Adoption.
  • adopted or birth name of the adoptee
  • identity number or date of birth of the adoptee
  • names of adoptive parents or biological parents
  • full contact details of the enquirer

About applying for national adoption

If you are looking to adopt a child in South Africa, you must approach an adoption agency which will screen you and help you look for a child who is available for adoption.

You can only apply for national adoption if you are a South African citizen residing in South Africa and you want to adopt a South African child.

What you should do

  1. Go to any adoption agency in any province of your choice to apply.
  2. The adoption agency will conduct a screening/ home study to check if you are fit and proper to adopt a child.
  3. If the agency is satisfied with the results, they will put you on a Register of Adoptable Children and Adoptive Parents while they help you search for a child who is available for adoption.
  4. If a child is available, they will call you to the offices to meet the child and ask you if you are interested in adopting the child.
  5. If you agree, they will send your report to the Children’s Court to finalise the adoption and issue an adoption order.
  6. The Court report will be sent to the Department of Social Development so they can check if correct procedure was followed and to record both your and the child’s details.

How long does it take

It differs from one case to another.

How much does it cost

The cost will depend on the agency you use.

Forms to complete

All forms are available at your nearest Department of Social Development office.

Who to contact

Department of Social Development provincial offices contact list