you were bornOne of the purposes of this web site is to educate people about adoption and take away fears which are mostly based on ignorance. You might have loads of assumptions around adoption because of what a friend has told you or what you’ve read in a magazine somewhere. If you’re truly interested in adoption, I would suggest you talk to people who have gone through the process and who can tell you how things REALLY are so that you can make up your mind based on knowledge and facts. So talk to ME!

So here are the questions I often get when people meet me and Rosie:

Isn’t the adoption process very difficult?

I don’t think so.  Yes the process is thorough but I didn’t have to comply with anything that didn’t make sense to me. All the paperwork, workshops, interviews and the house visit made complete sense to me.

Here’s a short list of my process which I did with Child Welfare, Cape Town. Child Welfare is an NGO.

–          Join an introduction morning and get the application form

–          Get police clearance

–          Get medical certificate from your GP

–          Ask 4 friends to be your references. They will receive a questionnaire from Child Welfare. The questions are mostly about you as a person or as a family and all serves to get to know you as good as possible

–          Financial statement, salary slips from 6 months

This you all send off to Child Welfare and then you will be invited for 2 1 hour interviews with social workers followed by 2 half day workshops with other adoptive-parents-to-be. I especially enjoyed connecting with other parents. There were no funny tests whatsoever!

The last part of the screening process is the home visit. At that point the social workers will ask you if you still want to go ahead and you will talk about the child that would best fit with your family. Everybody has different wishes. Some would like a baby girl, others would like a toddler boy. We’re all different. But remember: it is about finding the right family for a child and not finding your family a child.

But adoption is very expensive, isn’t it?

From what I know about international adoption, yes that’s expensive but local adoption are totally different. Child welfare’s fees are based on your salary to make sure that it is affordable for everybody. My income goes very much up and down so the cost was also one of my worries. The screening process invoice was about ZAR 1.700 and the placement would have been about ZAR 2.800. However, through networking with commercial agencies, Child Welfare found Rosie. Commercial agencies have a different fee structure so the placement fee went up to ZAR 17.000. This included some necessary medical tests etc.

It is very weird to talk about a budget when you’re talking about having a baby although people who choose to go the medical route to conceive a baby, have to think about this as well. So the amount was a LOT more than what I anticipated but somehow I thought: if Child Welfare believes this should be my child, then I must just make a plan and go for it. So I did. But you’re not obliged to do this of course. Throughout the whole process, I learned that you really have to go with your ‘gut’ feeling or in my case, with God who gave me answers throughout.