SA tightens rules on foreign adoptions

2011-10-13 10:18

kalahari.com

Johannesburg - In the wake of Madonna's adoptions in nearby Malawi, and a commercial surrogacy boom in India, South Africa is laying out stricter rules for foreigners looking to make families here.

Last month a court in Pretoria set out guidelines for foreigners looking to hire a surrogate mother in South Africa. In 2010, a new child welfare law made it tougher for foreigners to adopt.

The overall message is that children born in South Africa are better off in their own country, and foreigners need to show a commitment to living here if they want to use South Africans to help them make a family.

In the case last month, a Dutch and Danish couple won permission to use a surrogate. In the ruling, the court in Pretoria laid out guidelines that will now direct how future cases will be resolved.

Surrogacy


Surrogacy has been legal in South Africa since 2006, and the Constitution guarantees equal protection for gays, which courts have routinely cited in allowing same-sex couples to adopt or use surrogates.

For foreigners, the ruling essentially means that they must intend to stay in South Africa long-term. The couple involved in the case intends to settle here permanently, the court ruling said.

"If you are a French person or a foreigner here only for six months, it is not going to work, unless you live in South Africa for an indefinite period," said Anthony William, the attorney who represented the couple.

"This judgement is important because it sets the parameters and the guidelines."

South African law specifically prohibits commercial surrogacy. The court cast a wary eye on India, where it was allowed in 2002, creating an "assisted reproductive" industry that in 2008 was valued at $450m (R3.5bn) a year.

This has attracted families from wealthier countries who hire Indian surrogates for far less than the process would cost in their home nations - something South Africa is keen to avoid.

"Most countries prohibit commercial surrogacy, with India being the prominent exception," the ruling said.

The court warned that "particularly in countries such as ours with deep socio-economic disparities and prevalence of poverty, that the possibility of abuse of underprivileged women is a real and ever-present danger".

Every surrogacy agreement in South Africa requires approval from a court that must find the arrangement was reached "for altruistic rather than commercial reasons", the court said.

Surrogate mothers can only receive money to pay for expenses related to the pregnancy, such as health insurance or maternity clothes, said Jennifer Currie, founder of the Baby-2 Mom agency, which specialises in egg donations.

Adoptions


The rules have also been tightened for foreigners seeking to adopt.

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 - even though South Africa has 1.9 million Aids orphans.

Most of those children are absorbed into extended families or communities and are not housed in institutions. Only about 600 are considered "legally adoptable", with just 200 children legally adopted last year, according to official figures.

The new law was drafted as Madonna was adopting her second child in Malawi, stirring controversy about wealthy foreigners taking home African children.

South Africa wants children to have a relationship "with their familiar cultural, physical and extended family environs before looking to adoption within the country or outside the country," said Seamus Mac Roibin, a child protection specialist for Unicef, the UN children's agency.

- SAPA

Read more on:    malawi  |  hiv aids
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
47 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Cape Town - 16:15 PM
    Road name: Wet Weather
    RAIN across the greater Cape Town area - drive with care and use headlights - Allow Extra Tavel Time
  • Friday Kuils River - 09:28 AM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - DELAYS
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Claims Consultant

Cape Town CBD
Human Communications (Pty) Ltd
R15 000 - R17 000 Per Month

CRM Manager

Western Cape
Ivy Farrell Recruitment

Job: SQL Developer, Digital Marketing Agency, Cape Town, R20k – R30k

Cape Town Southern Suburbs
Initiate International
R20 000 - R30 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia N9

The Nokia N9 has a beautiful one-piece, unibody design where...

From R2899.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The day may have a fluctuating sensitive energy to begin with, but later when the Moon moves into dramatic and creative Leo you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.