Different stakeholders in the social services joined hands to celebrate and recognise the role played by relevant organisations at an event held at Common Ground Church in Rondebosch on Friday 26 October.The event was organised by the Western Cape Adoption Coalition. More than 50 social workers from across Cape Town attended. Speakers mostly touched on the challenges affecting adoption processes and how to address them while calling on the social workers to continue doing their “good work”.On her opening address, Dr Lesley Corrie, from the provincial department of social development said the process of adoption has become a sensitive topic over the years yet the statistics show a consistent decline.She said there are still certain stakeholders opposing adoption, based on their belief that it breaks families apart instead of building them.Corrie said this is, however, in contradiction with the records as there are more and more children on the waiting list for adoption. Corrie spoke on the issuing of recommendation letters in the Western Cape, which takes three to five days.“Adoption has the potential to transform lives; we would like to see the numbers grow. The department is doing what it can to supervise the processes.”Katinka Pieterse, chairperson of the National Adoption Coalition of South Africa (Nacsa) and a director of Abba Specialist Adoption and Social Services, highlighted the reasons for and trends surrounding adoption – among them being child abandonment, unplanned pregnancies, broken families and orphans. She mentioned politics, service provider obstacles, shortage of social workers, lack of knowledge and culturally based obstacles as the reasons for delays in adoptions.Pieterse told the crowd it is for these reasons that the coalition seeks to promote adoption and build awareness in the community to create a better understanding of the process.She also said Nacsa lobbies and advocates on behalf of the adoption sector regarding time frames, procedures and policies.Yolande Viljoen gave a motivational talk on the day, encouraging the social workers to remember the purpose of adoption and their role in the process, and how finding a new home could change a child’s life. V For more information, visit www.adoptioncoalitionsa.org or www.abbaadoptions.co.za.