The following was received by Joint Council in response to an update we posted on October 17, 2011 entitled “South Africa tightens rules for foreign adoptions.” This response is a clarification to the following line from the original post: “Since a new child welfare law was passed last year, foreigners are required to live in South Africa for five years before they can adopt.” You can read the original post here: http://www.jointcouncil.org/south-africa-tightens-rules-for-foreign-adoptions/.
“The above requirement is not referring to families who are wanting to pursue an intercountry adoption, but instead is referring to foreigners wanting to effect a “national adoption” while temporarily residing in SA – such as on work visas, travel visa, etc. Foreigners living in SA must reside within South Africa for 5 years before they can pursue a “domestic” adoption within South Africa, of a South African child.
This does not apply to foreigners who are completing an intercountry adoption from their home countries (i.e.: Canadians who reside in Canada and are adopting from SA, or Americans living in the USA who want to adopt from South Africa) and going through the proper intercountry adoption process, but only applies to those foreigners who are residing in SA for differing amounts of time with no plans to return to their countries of origin in the near future, which precludes them from an intercountry adoption, and therefore want to adopt as nationals.”