Want to adopt a child?

Are you longing to give a child a loving home? Adoption could be the answer. Here is how to go about adopting a child in South Africa.


Want to adopt a child?

Are you longing to become a parent, or to extend your family, to provide a child with a loving home? Adoption could be the best option for your life, but it’s not necessarily an easy one. Before you embark on this journey, you need to consider the pros and cons. Adoption is a lifelong commitment that has the power to change lives forever – whether this is for the good or bad is up to you.

Considering adoption

Questions to ask yourself

Adoption involves making deliberate choices and asking oneself important questions, including:

  • Can I accept and love as my own a child born to someone else?
  • Can I accept a child of a different race?
  • Can I become a parent to a special needs child?
  • Which of the children who need a family could we be suitable parents to?

Reasons to adopt

Every year, hundreds of people choose to pursue adoption for a variety of reasons:

  • some people have simply always wanted to adopt for as long as they can remember,
  • some would like to offer a child a better future,
  • some adopt because of infertility,
  • some just want to increase the size of their family, and
  • some are single and see adoption as a way of becoming a parent.

It is important to remember that adoptive parents are a resource for children who cannot, for whatever reason, remain with their birth families, and not the other way around.

Adoption is the legal process by which the rights and responsibilities for a child are given up by one set of parents and taken on by another. It is however much more than a legal process. It is also the creation of a family. It involves deep human emotions and has the potential to create great happiness as well as great disappointment.

Before you decide that adoption is the right plan for you, much thinking and discussion should take place. You need to consider carefully every aspect of adoption and scrutinise your own feelings about it.

If you are part of a couple, both of you need to feel convinced that this is the right decision for you before you introduce an adopted child into your family. Be aware that for adopting parents, the adoption process can take from 6 months to a year to complete.

Who may adopt a child in South Africa?

According to the Children’s Act (Act 38 of 2005), a child may be adopted

  • jointly by a husband and wife,
    ii.  partners in a permanent domestic life-partnership, or
    iii. other persons sharing a common household and forming a permanent family unit;
  • by a widower, widow, divorced or unmarried person;
  • by a married person whose spouse is the parent of the child;
  • by the biological father of a child born out of wedlock; or
  • by the foster parent of the child.

The adoption process


  • In South Africa, the only way in which you can legally adopt a child is by working through an accredited adoption agency, or with the assistance of an adoption social worker functioning within the statutory accredited adoption system.
  • When working through an adoption agency, the process usually starts with the prospective adoptive parents submitting an application to the agency. Each agency has its own set of requirements – it’s a good idea to phone the particular agency to get their set of criteria before you actually apply in writing. Getting your application right from the start can save a lot of time later.

Screening process

  • All prospective adoptive parents are required to undergo a screening and preparation process. Adoption agencies are often criticised for ‘all the red tape’ or ‘making applicants jump through too many hoops’. But if one considers that in most cases the social worker is completely responsible for making a decision about a child’s future, the involved process becomes a necessity to ensure that the right parent(s) is/are chosen for every child – the parent(s) that will provide the specific child in question with the best possible home and family.
  • The screening process normally involves orientation meetings, interviews with a social worker, full medicals, marriage and psychological assessments, home visits, police clearance and references.
  • The screening process allows social workers to get to know prospective adopters as a family, their motivation to adopt and their ability to offer a child a warm, loving and stable home.

Waiting list

  • Once the screening process is complete, applicants are placed on a waiting list for a child. Applicants have their own ideas and wishes about the child they wish to adopt – they can decide about the age and sex of the baby or child they would like to adopt and adoption agencies will try to meet those personal expectations.


  • It’s a very joyous and happy day when the new parents are informed that they have been matched to a child and arrangements will be made for them to meet the child. There is usually a period of introduction to the child, the length of time varying according to the child’s age.
  • The official placement of the child with the adoptive parents is a legal process, carried out through the Children’s Court. Once the child has been with the new parents for a period of time and the social worker has assessed the adoption to be in the best interests of the child, the adoption is finalised through the Children’s Court. The child then becomes the legal child of the adoptive parents as if the child was born to them and has all the same rights as a biological child.

For more information about adoption call 0800 864 658 or visit for assistance and advice.

Disclaimer: The advice on this site is for information purposes only. Please consult your health professional.

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Comments - 78 comments


Hi What happens in the case where a friend of mine doesnt want to keep her baby and we have decided that i would adopt the baby, so in other words she has asked me to adopt her baby and I have agreed, what processes are then followed?
Posted on Fri, May 29th 2015, 14:05


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Posted on Sat, Feb 28th 2015, 13:46

Sherry comes

I have two adopted sons and I am now wanting to consider adopting a baby girl. I am interested in learning more about the adoption process in South Africa, not sure where to begin. Kindest regards, Sherry Comes
Posted on Mon, Feb 23rd 2015, 11:35

Yolandé Theron

We would like to enquire about adoptions. We wish to adopt a white baby boy or girl. Thank you and kind regards. Wimpie and Yolandé
Posted on Sun, Feb 15th 2015, 21:04


I am 42 years old, I have always wanted to adopt a child after a tragedy of having to undergo on hysterectomy operation at the age of 18. I love children so much my heart is always bleeding. I know I was born to be a mother and I will love my adopted daughter as my own. I have contacted NGO group of social workers and went for a first meeting. I am waiting for my police clearance to start screening process. before I was afraid to do this because I felt what happened to me was not fair but with the help of my God, who helped me to understand that everything happen for a reason. may be I am really a mother of all, I have a heart to love anyone blood or no blood.
Posted on Sun, Feb 15th 2015, 19:55


hi there i would like to adopt white baby girl please.
Posted on Wed, Feb 4th 2015, 11:56

Magdalena Elizabeth Thomas

Hi there. My husband want to adopt my son of 3 years old. How do I go about that? My sons fathers never been in our live through the pregnancy and birth and at any time after that.... If someone can please advise me how to go about it. My son is registered on my maiden name... Thanks so much.
Posted on Tue, Jan 27th 2015, 10:51


Hello my husband and i married 5 year, due to medical reasons i cant have kids. ive had one miscarriage and cant go through the heartbreak again. we looking to adopt indian baby. We live in port elizabeth. Please can someone help with more information to get an indian baby. thanks
Posted on Tue, Aug 5th 2014, 22:46


Hi All. I'm 35 years and live in Durban. Married for 13 years now. Due to medical problems I'm unable to have a child ie cycts, endometriosis and damaged tube as well. I came so close to adopting a newborn baby, however the parents changed their minds and this was very disappointing. I would love to adopt an indian baby. Please assist me.
Posted on Thu, Jul 31st 2014, 08:57


hi, Shanty. I am from west rand and looking seriously to adopt.
Posted on Thu, Jul 17th 2014, 13:21


Hi shanty I would love to adopt your baby. Contact me or email me.
Posted on Thu, Jul 17th 2014, 13:19


Hi my husband and I have been married for 6 years and we don't have children an we would like to adopt a child.
Posted on Thu, Jul 17th 2014, 12:47


im 12weeks pregnant 23 years of age id like to give up the baby for adoption im not financially stable n so is my mom,u just want a better future for this baby and loving parents.Thank you.
Posted on Wed, Jul 16th 2014, 23:19

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Posted on Tue, Jul 8th 2014, 10:08


I hv 2yrs old boy and i want to give up my child for adoption i lv him alot bt i hv financial problem i need someone who gonna give him a love that he deserve anyone interested pls just give me a call 0734604432 thank you
Posted on Sun, Jun 29th 2014, 21:10


I today's Citizen newspaper there is an artical saying fewer kids adopted. It seems to be a major process and agents don't even return calls when you email and call to give info and there are 5.3 million orphans get on with getting children into loving homes.
Posted on Thu, May 22nd 2014, 20:26


For any ufrther enquiries about foster care, you are welcome to contact SA Cares for Life at We also network with various organizations for adoptions. Thanks! Sylvi
Posted on Tue, May 13th 2014, 15:32


Hi All I am a single lady, have got a good job and my own company. I am looking to adopt an infant baby boy, any race is welcome. Besides that I am not in a relationship and have got a desire of being a parent, having my own child. You know that feeling of being responsible for someone. My childhood was not that cherry either and my stepmother wanted to give me and my sublings up for adoption. I never understood her reason, but I know that I am a good sister/ mother to my sublings right now and would make an excellent mother to some baby boy out there. I have always wanted to adopt and even if I later have my own children but want to have an adopted child.
Posted on Sun, Apr 6th 2014, 13:28

Mari Janse van Rensburg

I have great friends whom wants to adopt a white baby. Please if anyone knows of anyone please contact me. They will be great parents.
Posted on Thu, Apr 3rd 2014, 11:03


i want to adopt please provide more details
Posted on Sat, Mar 15th 2014, 23:06


Hi my name is Iline and I have been married for 3 years. My husband and I would like to adopt and we would like to know how it works. We don't have a child of our own and would love to give a child a home and love.
Posted on Mon, Feb 17th 2014, 13:00


I am divorced and have a daughter from my marriage but we have been living with my partner for 3 years. He would legally like to adopt my daughter. What is the process and do I need permission from my ex husband as I have full custody of the child, age 13
Posted on Sat, Feb 8th 2014, 13:03


Hi guys my name is Kelly and I'm from jhb Florida , I've been married For 10 years and do have kids, 3 years ago I fell Pregnant in my tube so they removed the one tube And tied the other so I can't have another baby now, both myself And my hubby really want another baby , I would love to adopt a baby from birth Kind regards Kelly
Posted on Mon, Jan 27th 2014, 15:34

sanet schutte

My sus en swaer bly in Oudtshoorn. Hulle wag al 6 jaar vir 'n baba, het die hele proses deurgegaan al die toetse fotos alles gedoen maar hulle kry nie 'n baba nie. Vandag kom ek by my ma in Warden in die vrystaat daar is mense wat nie eers lank terug aansoek gedoen het en hulle het 'n tweeling gekry wat 3 maande oud is, hoe werk dit? Is dit volgens provinsie of hoe? Ek sal bly wees as iemand my kan kontak, ek wil hulle so graag help. Hulle het so baie om te bied maar ditt raak so lank om te wag en wag en wag. Baie dankie. Sanet Schutte.
Posted on Wed, Oct 23rd 2013, 20:35


Hi, my partner and I would love to adopt a little white baby (boy or girl) under the age of 2 years old, but no luck. How can we go about taking these steps and where do we start to give a child a home and better living conditions than what the child might currently have. We both love kids and would love to start our own family. We have been married for almost 2 years and live in Sandton. We are both in fantastic permanent jobs and the only thing missing in our lifes is a child. Please let me know where to start/where to go to make our dreams possible and start a family. Thanks Rey
Posted on Sun, Oct 20th 2013, 16:24


Hi, my name is Leanne and would really love to adopt a new born baby. My husband and I have been trying for the past 5 years and it is still so difficult we hope and pray for a baby and hope this site will be able to assist us.
Posted on Tue, Oct 15th 2013, 20:26

vanida moodley

hi my husband and i would like to adopt a baby boy from birth we are both in our late 40yrs and its differcult to conceive,we both have kids from prevoius relationship but they are adults now and we want a family of our own any one out there he will be loved and cared for as our own my husband would like a indian little boy.feel free to email me
Posted on Tue, Oct 8th 2013, 14:38


Hi all, My husband and i have been looking to adopt a white baby here in JHB or DBN for a long time. we have tried to have our own but with no luck. can anyone assist with this? does anyone know of a white baby up to 2 years needing adoptive family. i have a social worker and want to do this legally, please DO NOT contact me if you want to take shortcuts, we have lost alot of money already on people trying their luck. i will NOT do it without my lawyer and social worker. thank you. :) feel free to email me
Posted on Wed, Sep 25th 2013, 13:10


@Lallie2013....I fall in the bracket of women who have tried various treatments including IVF (all failed). I am now in the process of adoption, we've done our screening, we are now on our waiting list. Personally, the process of giving ones baby up as well as receiving a baby by adoption is all a painfull process. I think Mich is right in saying that this isn't an advertising site...there are processes to follow like for instance you just don't meet at someones house to pick up a baby that was "advertised" coz the mom of the baby can't take care of the baby any longer! People giving up their babies need councelling purely because it is a traumatic situation to go through...As a woman desperate to have a baby, i wouldn't want the mother of the baby to come back to me 3 months later and say she made a mistake and she wants the child back...therefore there are legal routes to go through...counselling plays a vital role in this process. I have read that if a person wants to give their baby to a waiting couple and they both know each other, then both parties can meet with a social worker who can oversee the process. This would be a safer way to do this rather than responding to an email of a person who is looking for a good home for their would you explain this situation to the police, social workers (they do get involved once requested by the courts), your family/friends...
Posted on Mon, Sep 23rd 2013, 13:44


Hi my name Is Shani My husband and I have been together for 10yrs and we have tried everything but I just won't get pregnant. We love kids and would do anything to have a baby. We therefore have decided to go the adoption way as we know there are so many little ones out there that are in need of a good home and family which we are willing to offer.
Posted on Sat, Sep 14th 2013, 22:20


@Mich.. ya you have your freagin mouth full, but you do not know how it feels when you can't conceive naturally!!!!! Some people struggle with conceiving and others fall pregnant without knowing or meaning to... You are so arrogant with your comment you know. It will always be legit, if you do not know anything what you are commenting about keep your childish remarks for yourself! The lists are long for adoption and if you can help someone and their child by adopting the baby WHY NOT???????????? They get to live their life and the adoptive parents get to enrich theirs. So please in the future... if you have a stupid comment keep it to yourself. There are many women that want they're baby adopted and then it is better for them to give their baby to someone they know will take care of the baby. And it is a lot quicker if you find someone to adopt your baby yourself, because then the adoptive parents go with you, you know who receives your baby and you make prior arrangements.
Posted on Sat, Sep 14th 2013, 17:20


this is really disgusting! some comments on how to adopt their unborn baby? this is not an advertisement or human trafficking site!! the article says, click on the email address on any adoption questions. If you don't know how to spell or read, Please adopt your baby at a legitimate adoption agency with intellectual parents. Sis!
Posted on Tue, Sep 3rd 2013, 15:37


Hi I'm 43 cant have a little one of my own,reason for not be able to have a baby i have to many anti body's in my blood. So i really so much would like to adopt a white new born baby.
Posted on Tue, Sep 3rd 2013, 10:25


How does one go about becoming a foster parent?
Posted on Mon, Aug 26th 2013, 11:42


Hi, I'm 30 years, have a baby boy age 7. I would like to adopt a baby girl from 6 months
Posted on Wed, Aug 21st 2013, 21:57


Good day, I`m a married lady without a child will like to know how adoption is being carried out in South Africa. Conditions of adopting a child in South Africa duration
Posted on Wed, Aug 21st 2013, 17:37


I need to adopt a new born from next year 2014
Posted on Wed, Aug 21st 2013, 16:27

Susara Klammer

Hi there, me and my fiance wants to adopt a white baby girl. We have been trying for two years now for a baby but we are struggeling. We both love children and our wish is to have one of our own. We will give the child all the love that the child deserve. I really hope that you can help us in that matter.
Posted on Mon, Aug 19th 2013, 15:41


hi there I would like to adopt a baby boy or girl love to help someone else im only married now for 6months but have a baby boy of 4years old and would like to have another baby
Posted on Sun, Aug 18th 2013, 10:15


Hi Melisa, My husband and I are struggling to conceive a baby, and we would love to be parents , how old is your baby , is it a girl or boy, please reply, I know we can give your baby all the love and attention and everything he or she requires.
Posted on Tue, Aug 6th 2013, 08:27


Hi I am a Malay coloured female in my early 20s , and have a beautiful daughter aged 7 and pregnant again .. My partner left us wen i gave birth and I am struggling to give my daughter a good stable life, my ex partner is white, and my daughter takes after him with the skin colour and blue eyes I am from cpt and all races and religion are wellcome to email me if you think u can give my lil angel a loving home Email me @ Gina
Posted on Wed, Jul 31st 2013, 12:47

Veronica Wainstein

I am interested in adopting a child. I am a single woman and am not sure if it is legal in South Africa. Can you confirm and if so direct me in starting the process.
Posted on Fri, Jul 19th 2013, 11:35


hi we are a young couple early 20s with one child we are looking to adopt a baby boy from age maybe 2yrs - 5yrs we just bought a new house in randburg and would like to give that kid a home
Posted on Fri, Jul 19th 2013, 09:09

Yvette de Beer

We are looking to adopt a baby girl. We have 2 boys and unfortunately I have had a hystorectomy due to health reasons. How do we go about adopting a white baby?
Posted on Wed, Jul 17th 2013, 16:02


Good day I am having trouble with my sons biological father paying maintenance. My current boyfriend is madly in love with my son and wished to adopt. How can i go about this as the biological father has moved 3 times in 1 year to avoid his summons and now i have no way to get hold of him? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Posted on Sat, Jul 13th 2013, 20:23


Hi, my fiancé wants to adopt my son. My sons biological father past away. How do we go about doing this?
Posted on Sat, Jul 13th 2013, 16:48


Hey, I want to adopt a baby boy, he is not yet born and will only be born in 2 months time, however i don't know how and what to do, and where to start, the mother doesn't want the baby, i have 2 kids of my own and really would like to adopt the new baby, ... could someone assist me in how to go about, i have met the mom and she also insist in my adopting the little one. She however doesn't want any contact after birth with the child. Please Please assist me in the right direction.
Posted on Mon, Jul 8th 2013, 11:52


I'm 34 year old would like adopt a child who need and deserve love and care
Posted on Sun, Jul 7th 2013, 10:58


I would really like a adopt a baby from Syria or any of the war zones. How do I go about doing this??
Posted on Tue, Jul 2nd 2013, 10:39

ernestinah menake

Hi iam 35 years lady with three children boy19 girl16 and last one girl12,as a widower I have a feeling that I shoud have I mean another baby that I will give love and I wish I can have new born baby please respond to me,I can't wait to have the baby n my hands.iam running mi own business please help!!
Posted on Thu, Jun 20th 2013, 13:28


Are same sex couples allowed to adopt legally?
Posted on Sat, Jun 15th 2013, 17:46


Good day My wife got 2kids i dont have any an im 41 let me now how to go about this please
Posted on Sat, Jun 15th 2013, 09:40


Good Day Im a 27 year old female struggling to concive. Now we have opted to adopt, please advice on the process and how do we know if we qualify. Many Thanks Zandile
Posted on Fri, Jun 14th 2013, 12:28


Are there a age restriction to adopting, and should one be married?
Posted on Fri, Jun 14th 2013, 10:23


I am a foreigner and i am desperete for a child,i want to adopt a child so please help.
Posted on Thu, Jun 13th 2013, 21:39


i wat 2 giving my bby 4 adoption,i'm 20 weeks n live in Pta
Posted on Tue, Jun 11th 2013, 15:18


hi there,im a married husband i are having problems getting pregnant,at the moment we are really desprete for a baby and we willing to adopt please help.thanx
Posted on Mon, Jun 10th 2013, 14:18


Want to adopt a child i dont know how is the process
Posted on Sat, Jun 8th 2013, 19:07


Hi Charlie.How old are you baby boy and from where are you?Me and my husband would like to adopt a baby.Thank You
Posted on Thu, Jun 6th 2013, 09:36


I want to give a baby boy anyone who wish to adopt I dnt have home to keep him an am male parent,what must I do?
Posted on Sat, Jun 1st 2013, 13:59


hi, i am Caroline Udete Mthembu a black female of 25 years and single. i am looking into adopting a baby girl of 3months old. i love kids and i would like to have some in the near future. and is it possible to change the child's name to your own desired name after the adoption has been completed? @ phyllis, i am so sorry for your situation its a very sad situation you have, i cant imagine having to separate your children like that. @ deborah, isnt there a way you can take your baby back to cameroon to stay with your other relatives?
Posted on Wed, May 29th 2013, 02:45


hi . my name is brenda i want to adopt a baby girl atleast 1 month. i am single woman . i want to give a child a warm home
Posted on Fri, May 24th 2013, 15:35


Hi my name is Phillys madavha,im a south African citizen with 3 kids .i want to give my 2 and half years old for adoption becouse of the difficulties im facing as a single mom my husband ran and left me to rise the kids alone please help..
Posted on Tue, May 14th 2013, 14:33


i'm a 24 year old male who wants to adopt a baby girl in future as a single parent,what are a single mans chances of actually being able to adopt a girl child.especially since there are a lot of incidents where man rape young innocent children,they even rape their own children.
Posted on Wed, May 8th 2013, 20:00

Hayley Ranwell

Good day, I am a SA citizen living in Malaysia with my husband and two children, our son was born out of wedlock in SA with my previous boyfriend in 2009. The biological 'father' has no interest, contact or ever paid any maintenance for our son.. My husband and I have now been married two years and my husband wants to officially adopt our son. I have in the meantime changed my sons surname to my husbands surname. We are living and will be living in Malaysia inevitably, but we are still SA citizens so adoption to be in SA law. Please explain the process of this adoption. Thank you, Hayely
Posted on Tue, May 7th 2013, 06:30


@ Lara do you want to give your baby up for adoption? My husband and i are looking to adopt a baby. Please get back to me if you are serious
Posted on Mon, Apr 29th 2013, 21:40


Hello, am a young girl of 18 name Deborah. i gave birth 1week ago and it is a baby boy my step-mum don't even care for me and the poor boy don't have any one to help and i cant stay and see the poor boy suffer when am alive and cant help him so i have to give the baby up for adoption. Don't know how to do it and where to stay as my people will not allow me to stay with them. I'm from Cameroon is there somewhere i can go for help? please email me if u can help the baby thanks.
Posted on Thu, Apr 25th 2013, 12:39


HI MY WIFE AND I WOULD LIKE TO ADOPT A BABY WE HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 17 YEARS AND CANT HAVE A CHILD WE LIVE IN ALBERTON CAN YOU PLEASE HELP US THANK YOU [Hi Mervyn, Adoption SA is your first stop. They can give you all the information you need and put you in touch with a registered social worker. All the best of luck! Call 0800 864 658 or visit for assistance and advice. - Sophia]
Posted on Tue, Mar 26th 2013, 12:51


Hi we have been married for 13years we did the ivf iui thing it did not work :( so our next step is to adopt . We are looking for a white baby. If u would like to meet us or get more info about us please contact me. [details withheld] [So sorry Yvette, for your security we have to remove any contact details. Please contact Adoption SA for information, they can also put you in touch with registered social workes. Call 0800 864 658 or visit Good luck! Sophia]
Posted on Tue, Mar 19th 2013, 20:07


my wife and i want to adopt a baby can u help me with some detaels please.a white baby. we stay in thoyandow limpopo
Posted on Tue, Mar 12th 2013, 17:43


Good Day, My husband and I are looking for a baby to adopt. We have been married for 17 years and can provide a baby with a financially secure, stable home with lots of love. We are currently undergoing the screening process and it is in its final stages now. Please if you can find it in your hearts to let us adopt your child please contact me on 072 440 8283 or (We are looking for a white, coloured or mixed race baby please
Posted on Tue, Mar 12th 2013, 14:55


good day... I'm want to know if there is any homes for pregnant woman is south africa. I am pregnant and have to give the baby up for adoption. Dont know how to do it and where to stay as my people wil not allow me to stay with them. I'm from hermanus is there somewhere i can go for help?
Posted on Sun, Mar 10th 2013, 08:54


Good day, I'm looking to adopt a baby boy or girl, infant or baby to about 2 years old. What are the specific requirements etc? And is there a specific age the adoptive parents should be? Thanks
Posted on Thu, Feb 28th 2013, 16:48


Me and my wife would like to adopt a child
Posted on Sun, Feb 24th 2013, 11:21


Hi, could you provide me with contact details of adoption agencies in Gauteng (Alberton-area)?
Posted on Thu, Feb 7th 2013, 14:19

Delia Schoonbee - Waterworth

Good day, I hope you are well, Please could you assist me? I am currently volunteering at a Home for abandoned babies close to where I live and would like to ask if you could please advise me on the process that needs to be followed if I would like to foster or adopt one of these little ones? I do have biological children of my own and I am 39 years old and in good health, also a registered nurse. Any assistance you could give me in this matter would be highly appreciated. Kind regards, Delia [Delia, please contact Sharon van Wyk of the blog, or Adoption SA ( - they can help you with all info you need! - Sophia]
Posted on Thu, Jan 24th 2013, 06:51


Hi Jason, I think you may be thinking of fostering children. For more information or to apply, please contact your local social welfare office or a social worker (Adoption SA will be able to help with contacts). All the best!
Posted on Mon, Oct 22nd 2012, 13:55


Good Day, My fiancé interested in adopting a child part time (Weekends). Is it possible and how do we go about applying to do so. Regards Jason
Posted on Mon, Oct 22nd 2012, 09:38

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