Legal adoptions can take many forms, as set out below:
Related Adoption: Adoption of a child by a person who is related to the child. This includes step-parent adoptions where there are varying levels of openness between the parties in the adoption.
Disclosed Adoption: The identity of the biological parent/s and the identity of the adoptive parent/s are known by both parties. This form of adoption may include a post-adoption agreement that provides for future contact or the exchange of information.
Closed Adoption: In such a case, no identifying details are available and/or exchanged between the adoptive parents and biological parent/s.
National Adoption: A legal adoption facilitated by an accredited adoption social worker and/or organisation where both the adoptive child and parent/s are South African citizens or have permanent residence in South Africa.
Same-race Adoption: The race of the adoptive parent/s and child is the same.
Inter-race Adoption: The race of the child and adoptive parent/s differ.
Intercountry Adoption: A legal adoption facilitated by an accredited adoption organisation where either the child or parents are not South African citizens. South Africa is party to the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoptions and this practice is also regulated by Chapter 18 of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005.