Adoption is a legal process that allows a person or a couple to become the legal parent(s) of a child who is not biologically theirs. It is a life-changing decision that should not be taken lightly. If Googling “family lawyer near me” and considering adoption in South Africa brought you here, it is important to understand the legal requirements and procedures involved.

At Durban Law Offices, we specialise in general family law, including adoption. Keep reading for an overview of what you legally need to know about adoption.

 

Who Can Adopt?

 

To adopt a child in South Africa, you must be at least 18 years old and a resident of the country. You can be single, married, or in a permanent same-sex partnership. You must also be able to provide a stable and loving home, as well as meet the financial needs of the child.

 

Who Can Be Adopted?

 

The child who is to be adopted must be under the age of 18 years old and must be legally free for adoption. This means that the biological parents of the child must either consent to the adoption or have had their parental rights terminated by a court. In some cases, a child may be placed for adoption by a children’s home or other institution.

 

The Adoption Process

 

The adoption process is made up of an assessment by a social worker, a police clearance, and a court application. It is important to work with an experienced adoption attorney, start looking by searching “family lawyer near me”, to ensure that all legal requirements are met and the adoption process runs smoothly.

 

The Role of a Family Lawyer

 

An experienced family lawyer near you can help guide you through the legal requirements and procedures involved in the adoption process. They can assist with the preparation of adoption applications, liaise with social workers, and represent you in court. They can also advise you on the legal implications of adoption, including the rights and responsibilities of adoptive parents and the child.

 

Legal Rights of Adoptive Parents and Children

 

Once the adoption has been granted by the court, the child becomes the legal child of the adoptive parent(s) and has the same rights as a biological child. This includes the right to inherit from the adoptive parent(s) and the right to use their surname.

 

All-in-all, adoption is a complex legal process that requires careful consideration and planning. If you are considering adoption in South Africa, it is important to work with an experienced adoption attorney, such as a family lawyer near you. They can guide you through the legal requirements and procedures involved, and help ensure that your adoption process runs smoothly. Contact us at Durban Law Offices today to schedule a consultation with a family lawyer.