SA orphans going Dutch
The lives of hundreds of orphans might soon change for the better because of inter-country adoption.
The SA Central Authority, which oversees adoptions in this country, has given adoption agency Wandisa permission to cooperate in inter-country adoptions with the Nederlandse Adoptie Stichting, a Dutch agency.
A director of the Dutch agency, Macky Hupkes, said his organisation was waiting for the authorities of both countries to conclude a state-to-state adoptions agreement.
The founder and president of Wandisa, Debbie Wybrow, said: " Many Dutch families have indicated their willingness to adopt older children and those who have special needs," she said.
Census 2011 estimated that there were 3.3million orphans in South Africa. Between 1.5million and 2million of them could benefit from inter-country adoption.
A Dutch adoptive mother said the new South African-Netherlands agreement was a relief to her and her husband.
"We have been trying to adopt for four years . and are overwhelmed that children who need parents can finally get them," she said.
"It was painful being told that you may be good parents, but you are not Christian and therefore are not allowed to be parents."
Adoptions made headlines last month when the SA Human Rights Commission launched an investigation into allegations of discrimination against three adoption agencies.
The agencies were accused of discriminating against homosexual and non-Christian would-be adoptive parents, contravening the constitution and the Children's Act.
Wandisa is waiting for the approval of adoption agreements with Canada and Ireland, which were submitted in 2009 and 2010 respectively.