Adoption in South Africa

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    Raquel
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    Name: PP
    Location: Secunda Mpumalanga, South Africa

    My hubby and I have been together for eleven years. I’m 30, he’s 34, we both love and want kids but due to fertility problems we have been unable to conceive. Our doctors recommended IVF and other treatments but we decided to try naturally first. We’ve been trying for 8 years with no success.
    It’s been really hard, I used to cry whenever I got my period and I knew my period’s date 6 months in advance anticipating missing one of those months, but it always came on the date I had written on the calender.

    With time it got better and I had good support from my hubby, parents and my in-laws. My mom in law was actually the one who suggested we should adopt but we didn’t take it seriously. In 2014 I started watching Adoption Stories on CBS Reality and I fell in love with adoption. I’d cry until my face felt itchy from wiping the tears with tissue. In 2015 I asked my hubby to watch with me an episode of an American couple who adopted a Chinese baby girl, I cried so hard my hubby said he’d never seen me cry so hard. He said, ok let’s do it, I said, let’s buy a house and bring our baby girl home.

    We started with our adoption in May 2015 and we are almost through but our biggest challenge has been the medical exams. Medical exams are done to check if there’s any illnesses that may shorten one parent’s life span. My hubby is diabetic and his sugar level average is 11, we’ve been trying for 8 months now to control it so we can pass the medical test and it’s hard. We are trying hard to change our eating lifestyle so that we can pass our exam and continue. Otherwise if it wasn’t for that our daughter might’ve been home in December.

    We did buy a house and the day we moved in was the same day we had our first adoption orientation. We came back from the orientation energised and started doing the baby’s room. We continued with the process until we paused on the medical exam results.

    I’m a 1st grade teacher and fortunately for me working with the children taught me something deep about kids and love. Our learners come from different backgrounds and watching just how some children grow up without being hugged, kissed and told I love you, made me find God’s purpose for us not having children. Maybe God realised we have too much love and opted we have to share it with an abandoned child.

    It feels so good carrying the child within our hearts. I thought we had loved when we fell in love with each other but loving our adopted child has been even more heart warming. We never knew the depth of love until we decided to adopt. We are waiting for our daughter to come home soon and we can’t wait to hold her. We have full family support and names are already coming in.

    The adoption agency we are adopting with is a non-profit organisation in Johannesburg. It’s cheaper than private although private is expensive but faster. A couple will start with the orientation, then interview for both with the assigned social worker, fill in criminal record forms at the police station, do medical exams, psychological assessment and home visit and then you go in the adoptive parents register. Then you wait for the baby, have a baby allocated, go see the baby and if you feel a bond with the child you sign other forms, if you don’t feel a bond you only have one last opportunity to have another baby presented to you. If you take the baby you have to start a process of having the child’s names changed, it takes 12-24 months to get the baby’s birth certificate.

    The adoption agency only releases children who are 4 months+ and we would love a 4 month old baby to enable bonding to be easier.

    Adoption in SA is not common among blacks. I believe it’s not about the DNA we pass to our children but it’s about the love we give and share that teaches and raises a responsible loving and loved human being.

    Thanks for reading my story I like talking about adoption it makes me feel special. I feel like I’m living my life not the way society wants but the way I want and it pleases me.

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