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Old 05-02-2010, 10:07 AM
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MkMw MkMw is offline
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ETA: What I understand from the Russian side (info via the Russian embassy in Bern) is that the local authorities' input basically consists of a home study by a qualified official from the welfare department (or an accredited social worker), which SA seems to be issuing to foreigners adopting South African babies as well as South Africans adopting locally without any distinction being drawn between the groups, and a letter from the embassy in Moscow.

We adopted internationally from South Africa in 2002, from the U.S. I know that the number of children from S.A. adopted by Americans is pretty small and S.A. was closed (to Americans) except for adoptions already "in process" not longer after we got home with our sons. I think it was because we were (are?) not a Hauge country - not really up on that because were not looking internationally.

BUT - while we were there, our adoption was absolutely treated as a domestic adoption. The only difference is that because the birthfather did not want to sign, rather than just TPR'ing as the SW told us they would had we been South Africans, we had to wait an additional 2 months to get him into court to have the court TPR.
Michelle (Married to Matt)
3 is my lucky number...
James & Andrew 7/3/02, open/international
Stephanie 7/3/06, closed/domestic
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Old 05-02-2010, 03:41 PM
swissSA swissSA is offline
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I've had replies from everyone and their mother EXCEPT the Dept. of Social Development. I asked a colleague to ring them up on my behalf come Monday, so I'll hear what she has to say and put it in a post if it's worth knowing.
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Old 05-11-2010, 05:15 AM
swissSA swissSA is offline
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Ok, so I called the Dept. of Social Development yesterday.

After 6 no-answers, 4 redirected calls, 2 full message boxes and being cut off twice, I finally got someone on the other end of the line who was able deal with my questions (if not particularly willing, at first). 40 minutes and 50 CHF later, I could honestly say the concerns raised in previous posts about the government DELIBERATELY stonewalling overseas adoptions by South African minorities have been completely allayed.

Yeah, I know... so here's a play-by-play of events :

The conversation started out with me being frustrated and the official being defensive, which resulted in about 10 minutes of arguing back and forth. It was when I mentioned being aware of their office setup and the limitations on their resources (I'd done a lot of running around at the Master of the High Court's office – shared with the then "Weesheer" – back when I was a clerk) that the official started listening to my questions, which helped me relax and ended up resulting in a very positive exchange.

Of everything we discussed, I think the following points are of general relevance :

1. She told me that, and I quote, "we know there are a lot of white people who want babies from Europe." I hadn't mentioned race, but my inquiries were about Russia, which didn't make it hard to put 2 & 2 together. The reason I quote the official verbatim, is because I want to stress that this was said with sympathy and understanding, rather than the veiled accusation those of us who pursue this course tend to expect.

2. She told me that the Department was not issuing homestudies to South Africans wanting to adopt from abroad at this time as they are busy assessing the situations in foreign "origin" countries to determine the best ways for dealing with incoming children. She was reluctant to commit to a specific timeframe for when they would begin processing homestudies, but confirmed that the September 2010 target (mentioned on page 74 of the Department's 2009 – 2012 Strategic Plan, which can be downloaded from their homepage) is a good indicator.

*** Now, I want to point out that this forestalling on homestudies is a Departmental house keeping measure, which doesn't have any baring on what can and can't be done in terms of the Children's Act, the '93 Hague Convention or Russian adoption procedure. The competencies of the Department (sections 257, 258 and 265 for those who want to adopt from a non-convention country), accreditation of private agencies to handle foreign adoptions (section 259), and setting up working agreements between accredited agencies in South Africa and those operating in other countries (section 260) are different things, which – with the exception of accreditation and working agreements – are NOT interdependent.

3. As stated in a previous post, my personal position is such that independent adoption is preferable to making use of an agency, which means that the whole accreditation issue is of no relevance to me. I explained this to the official, and while I couldn't get her to admit in so many words that having accredited agencies in an "origin" country is NOT a prerequisite for the Department to sign off on a homestudy (as stipulated clearly in the sections on Central Authority competencies), she did concede that the Department's concern here was that "people are desperate and find lawyers on the internet. They pay money to these foreigners with no one to check and then they end up with nothing and lose a lot of money."

*** I honestly cannot fault this line of reasoning, as I have had a personal encounter with a Russian lawyer who demanded upfront payment of US$ 350 (with an online credit card facility "conveniently" available on her website) to "consider my inquiries" – i.e. to read a 200 word email. Just FYI, US$ 350 = 10 619 Roubles. The going rate in Moscow for handling a divorce from start to finish, including alimony and child-support agreements, is between 7 000 and 10 000 Roubles total. Do the math...

4. She told me to check back in 3 months and promised to mention my suggestion that the progress of the country agreements, plus the Department's reasons for refusing homestudies at this point in time be put on the website.

On the topic of independent adoption...

If there's anyone reading this who, like me, would prefer to go the independent route (bearing in mind that it's likely to cost more than using an accredited agency in SA and will involve A LOT of legwork), I have been in contact with an organisation in Virginia, USA called the "Independent Russian and Ukrainian Adoption Project" run by Dr. Ronald Federici and Mr. Patrick Jost who offer comprehensive services in this regard. Send me a PM if you want the links.

Lastly, if you are a Christian and find yourself wondering about what ordinary, day-to-day life may look like, both before and after an international adoption, there is a wonderful blog being kept by a US couple who had brought their 2-year-old son, Dima, home in February of this year. Their whole adoption journey is documented in video and is really moving to see. PM me for the link.
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Old 06-25-2010, 02:34 AM
tm1977 tm1977 is offline
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Hello all,

I am also South African and am trying to get started on an international adoption from Russia. Any recommendations or advice would be appreciated beyond words.

Thank you,

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Old 07-30-2010, 08:03 AM
10-6 10-6 is offline
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I can't speak for others, but at 45 I was considered too old to adopt in SA. Other countries allow this. it is easier to adopt from SA than to adopt "into SA". There are agencies in SA who will help you if you fit the criteria.

All the best.
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:50 PM
Twinkletoes7 Twinkletoes7 is offline
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any news?

I was just wondering if any one knows what the latest status of the sa goverment is on russian doptions?I would appreciate so information. @ SwissSA,your PM box is full please could you pm me some more info?

Thank you in advance
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:04 AM
kellz-4 kellz-4 is offline
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Hi Everyone... wow - how frustrating to see that most of these posts are from last year already and I am getting the same answers from our local authorities in SA now... MORE THAN A YEAR LATER!!!

My husband I are are hoping to adopt from Ukraine... but getting things done in SA is hard. We've gone so far as to contact the Ukraine authorities and we've told them that we've been told by the SA authorities that South Africa only has an adoption agreement with India... According to Ukrain authorities, its nonsense and we should be able to adopt as we wish, whereever we wish to adopt from... But how on earth does one go about it when we cant get the paperwork done on this side!! I am so terribly confused by the whole thing... and rather frustrated to say the least!!!

I'd really appreciate feedback from anyone in SA who's in the same boat as us, who is facing the same struggle and who holds the same hope in their hearts...

I must say that when i spoke to our officials last week (yes, after LOTS of calls to FULL mailboxes I finally got through to a very pleasant lady) I was told that maybe next year things would be ironed out and that we'd have options regarding international adoptions... I am realllllly holding thumbs for that... but after reading this thread I'm slightly dispondant as it seems that many of you were told the same thing 18 months ago!!!

Please keep the thread alive with any information any of you get!!!

Thanks so much!! :-)
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:11 AM
LeeuSA LeeuSA is offline
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Hi Everybody;

At first, I was so excited to have come across this page, as I thought I would get the answers I've been searching for for a long time... to my disappointment, I realized how old this thread is and that nothing has changed in two years.

I am a white male in SA - me and my partner would like to like to adopt a baby to be brought up with much love, security and education.

If anybody made new grounds or there is any new info available, please share with us on the thread, or PM me.

Thank you all - God bless...

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Old 09-22-2012, 12:47 AM
Butterfly777 Butterfly777 is offline
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Latest news on International Adoptions for South Africans?

Hi all

Just read the thread this morning, today being 22 Sep 2012. Is there any progress about this topic?

Perhaps if someone could post the tel numbers and departments and names of those they spoke to. And month to month one of us places a call and updates the thread? As long as the thread remains 'fresh'. I'll even do it - just need to know what number to dial and who to speak to

A few good calls from various people might spur someone on to do something there.

As well as the website URL of where their latest info is meant to be.

Our many calls to keep their website updated to avoid the whole world phoning them for the same information, might actually work

God bless.

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Old 12-14-2012, 02:19 AM
Boudica Boudica is offline
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I am also interested in finding out information on this topic. My husband and I (both South Africans) are interested in adopting from the EU (Russia or Bulgaria) or locally.

I came across the Reeces Rainbow organisation a couple of years ago and it has stuck with me ever since.
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