South Africa

July 5, 2012

Notice: Adoptions from South Africa to Begin With Approval of U.S. Adoption Service Providers

On June 6, 2012, the Department of State’s Special Advisor for Children’s Issues, Susan Jacobs, and U.S. Consulate General Johannesburg officials met with the South African Ministry of Social Development’s Central Authority (SACA) to clarify South African intercountry adoption procedures.  SACA confirmed that it has authorized two U.S. accredited adoption service providers (ASPs) to contract with South African agencies to process Hague Adoption Convention (Convention) adoptions from South Africa to the United States.

The two U.S. ASPs are Bethany Christian Services and Spence-Chapin Services to Families and Children.  Both ASPs may now accept applications for adoptions. 

SACA also clarified the options available for dual citizens.  U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents residing in the United States must follow the Convention intercountry adoption process if they wish to adopt from South Africa, regardless of whether one or both prospective adoptive parents hold South African citizenship.  U.S. citizens resident in South Africa who wish to adopt may be able to conclude a Convention adoption if they plan to bring their adopted child to the United States to live, or may conclude a domesticadoption after meeting South Africa’s five-year residency requirement if they intend to continue residing abroad.  In cases where one spouse is a South African citizen, the five-year residency requirement may be waived.

The U.S. Department of State is pleased to have the opportunity to work with South Africa as a Convention partner and to complete Convention intercountry adoptions of eligible children from South Africa by qualified adoptive parents in the United States.  Please continue to monitor adoption.state.gov as we update the country information sheet on adoptions from South Africa.