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Adoption: New Children's Act 38 of 2005

- Featured article by LAWYERS-ONLINE.CO.ZA

The facts you might not have known about adoption

Section 228 of the New Children’s Act 38 of 2005 states that a “ a child is adopted if the child is placed in the permanent care of a person in terms of a court order that has the effects contemplated in Section 242 ”.

Section 230 deals with children who may be adopted when children are adoptable . There are various factors taken into account in considering when children may be adopted: - t he adoption has to be in the best interests of the child; t he child has to adoptab le; and t he provisions of the Act have to be complied with.

A social worker must also make an assessment to determine if a child may be adoptable . Children are adoptable w hen a child is an orphan and has no guardian or care - giver that is willing to adopt the child; w hen the whereabouts of the child's parent or guardian cannot be established; when a child has been abandoned; w hen a child's parent or guardian deliberatel y abused or neglected the child; or w here a child is in need of a permanent alternative p lacement.

Section 231 regulates who may adopt a child. A child may be adopted jointly by: a husband and wife; the partners in a permanent domestic life - partnership; other persons sharing a common household and forming a permanent family unit.; by a widow, divorcee or unmarried person or a widower; a married person whose spouse is the parent of the child or by a person whose permanent domestic life - partner is the parent of the child; or by the foster parent of the child.

Other interesting facts regarding a doption: A child of 10 years or older must agree in writing to be adopted; o ne spouse in a marriage may not adopt a child without the other spouse ; and h omosexual, heterosexual and unmarried couples are also able to adopt a child. Also partners in a custom ary (polygamous) and Muslim customary marriage are entitled to adopt a child .

Date: 14th June 2013
Legislation: New Children’s Act, 38 of 2005

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