Chapter 15: Adoption
Children’s courts govern all adoption procedures, including inter-country adoption. The Act creates a more inclusive notion of ‘family’, and as such it allows a range of people to jointly adopt a child, rather than limiting joint adoption to a traditional husband and wife partnership. A same sex couple, in a stable life partnership can adopt a child. In fact any persons sharing a household and forming a family unit can adopt a child.
Section 231. Persons who may adopt child
Any adult who meets the requirement of the Act can adopt a child, including people in a permanent domestic life-partnership or any other people forming a permanent family unit.
Prospective parents must be over 18 years; t and proper people, willing and able to carry out parental rights and responsibilities in respect of the child, and must be assessed by an adoption social worker to check that they comply with the requirements. When conducting this assessment the social worker may take the cultural and community diversity of both the child and the prospective parents into account.
The development of the law relating to adoption by same sex adoption couples can be traced back to the Constitutional Court case of Du Toit and Another v Minister of Welfare and Population Development and Others 2003 (2) SA 198 (CC). In that case a same- sex couple wanted to adopt a child as a couple. The law allowed a single person to adopt, or a married (hetero-sexual couple). The Court found that this was discriminatory, and that is was not in the best interests of the child. The relevant section of the old Child Care Act was thus struck down. The Children’s Act has underscored that development and allows for recognition od different forms of family in wich children may be placed for adoption.”