Adoption Bill must be stopped

2019-04-09 06:01

Late February, I condemned the notice of intention to introduce the Children’s Third Amendment Bill. I have campaigned against the third amendment bill to the Children’s Act of 2005. Sections 249 and 259 of the Bill will make it nearly impossible for adoptions to be facilitated. Section 249 outlines the stakeholders who are able to charge fees in relation to adoptions whereas section 259 outlines those who are able to perform international adoptions. These amendments will make it impossible to facilitate adoptions because:

. Accredited child protection organisations, adoption social workers, lawyers, psychologists and other associated professionals will not be able to charge for their expertise – not even to reclaim costs.

. South African social workers have exceedingly high caseloads, well over 100 on average, despite norms and standards recommending a maximum of 60. Social workers in developed countries like the UK and US have far less, at around 20 to 30 children per social worker. Social workers will have to make more time for adoptions.

. By making government-employed social workers responsible for processing adoptions, we risk the closure of many social work practices and NGOs which provide adoption services. In the Western Cape, there are currently seven organisations which provide adoptive services on behalf of the Western Cape Department of Social Development. In total, 86 social workers are employed by these organisations, who would otherwise be made unemployed. This number excludes the many migration specialists, psychologists and medical practitioners who will also lose employment.

. In the Western Cape there are currently less than 10 privately registered specialists in adoption. These specialists are registered by the South African Council for Social Service Professionals. Vast professional expertise will be lost and adoptable children will miss out on a stable and loving home.

In a country with an estimated 3.7 million orphaned and vulnerable children, legislation should facilitate the seamless adoption of children. However, as is all too often the case, proposed national legislation will make it more difficult for would-be parents to adopt. Accepting the proposed third amendment bill will deny the most vulnerable children in our society of an opportunity to enjoy permanency and stability, one of the main principles in the Children’s Act, 38 of 2005.

Albert Fritz Provincial minister for social development

We live in a society where most children do not enjoy the luxury of growing up in a household with at least one responsible parent. Most children in our country are raised by a single parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle. Late February, I condemned the notice of intention to introduce the Children’s Third Amendment Bill. I have campaigned against the third amendment bill to the Children’s Act of 2005. Sections 249 and 259 of the Bill will make it nearly impossible for adoptions to be facilitated. Section 249 outlines the stakeholders who are able to charge fees in relation to adoptions whereas section 259 outlines those who are able to perform international adoptions. These amendments will make it impossible to facilitate adoptions because:

. Accredited child protection organisations, adoption social workers, lawyers, psychologists and other associated professionals will not be able to charge for their expertise – not even to reclaim costs.

. South African social workers have exceedingly high caseloads, well over 100 on average, despite norms and standards recommending a maximum of 60. Social workers in developed countries like the UK and US have far less, at around 20 to 30 children per social worker. Social workers will have to make more time for adoptions.

. By making government-employed social workers responsible for processing adoptions, we risk the closure of many social work practices and NGOs which provide adoption services.In the Western Cape, there are currently seven organisations which provide adoptive services on behalf of the Western Cape Department of Social Development. In total, 86 social workers are employed by these organisations, who would otherwise be made unemployed. This number excludes the many migration specialists, psychologists and medical practitioners who will also lose employment.

. In the Western Cape there are currently less than 10 privately registered specialists in adoption. These specialists are registered by the South African Council for Social Service Professionals. Vast professional expertise will be lost and adoptable children will miss out on a stable and loving home.In a country with an estimated 3.7 million orphaned and vulnerable children, legislation should facilitate the seamless adoption of children. However, as is all too often the case, proposed national legislation will make it more difficult for would-be parents to adopt. Accepting the proposed third amendment bill will deny the most vulnerable children in our society of an opportunity to enjoy permanency and stability, one of the main principles in the Children’s Act, 38 of 2005.

Albert Fritz Provincial minister for Social Development

Late February, I condemned the notice of intention to introduce the Children’s Third Amendment Bill. I have campaigned against the third amendment bill to the Children’s Act of 2005. Sections 249 and 259 of the Bill will make it nearly impossible for adoptions to be facilitated. Section 249 outlines the stakeholders who are able to charge fees in relation to adoptions whereas section 259 outlines those who are able to perform international adoptions. These amendments will make it impossible to facilitate adoptions because:

. Accredited child protection organisations, adoption social workers, lawyers, psychologists and other associated professionals will not be able to charge for their expertise – not even to reclaim costs.

. South African social workers have exceedingly high caseloads, well over 100 on average, despite norms and standards recommending a maximum of 60. Social workers in developed countries like the UK and US have far less, at around 20 to 30 children per social worker. Social workers will have to make more time for adoptions.

. By making government-employed social workers responsible for processing adoptions, we risk the closure of many social work practices and NGOs which provide adoption services. In the Western Cape, there are currently seven organisations which provide adoptive services on behalf of the Western Cape Department of Social Development. In total, 86 social workers are employed by these organisations, who would otherwise be made unemployed. This number excludes the many migration specialists, psychologists and medical practitioners who will also lose employment.

. In the Western Cape there are currently less than 10 privately registered specialists in adoption. These specialists are registered by the South African Council for Social Service Professionals. Vast professional expertise will be lost and adoptable children will miss out on a stable and loving home.

In a country with an estimated 3.7 million orphaned and vulnerable children, legislation should facilitate the seamless adoption of children. However, as is all too often the case, proposed national legislation will make it more difficult for would-be parents to adopt. Accepting the proposed third amendment bill will deny the most vulnerable children in our society of an opportunity to enjoy permanency and stability, one of the main principles in the Children’s Act, 38 of 2005.

Albert Fritz PROVINCIAL MINISTER FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
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