With the World Cup being in South Africa this year we have talked a lot about two things in my house recently- soccer and my husband’s mission. When my husband was 19 years old he was asked to serve a two year in Cape Town, South Africa. While there he lived all over the western part of the country as well as in southern Namibia.
When we were engaged and talking about our future family we started talking about the option of adoption. Like I have stated a few times, we were both open to the idea from the start. But one time Jesse said, “I think it would be wonderful if we could adopt from South Africa. I may not look, or sound, like someone from there, but at least I’d know something about the country and culture.” At that time I just smiled and nodded at the idea while imaging myself petting a lion cub.
Now the time has come where I am seriously considering the idea of adopting a child from South Africa. I started to get excited that we could go to South Africa and find our child waiting for us in an orphanage in the next two or three years. Then I started doing some research and found out that this might not be the case. The first restriction that applies is that the country has a law that requires all children to try and be placed with a national couple before being considered for international adoption. This means that we wouldn’t be able to adopt an infant, but that isn’t too terrible. I want to try and breastfeed our adopted baby so hopefully the child wouldn’t be too old or too trained to a bottle that I couldn’t do this.
The next issue we’ve come across is that there are some legal issues and international laws that may make adoption difficult in South Africa. I started looking into the laws more specifically when I came across a website that informed me, “There are no adoption agencies in the US at this time that have programs open for adoption from South Africa.” My heart sank when I read this but I tried to stay hopeful that maybe I was reading outdated information. I found several other websites that made it clearer that at this time we wouldn’t be able to adopt from South Africa.
When I told my husband this he said (Being the ever optimist), “That just means we’ll have to adopt our fourth child from there then.” So for now we have only slightly narrowed down our list of places we’d consider adopting from. It’s sad, but if the Lord wants us to adopt from South Africa then He’ll make the laws and policies work out in our favor.
Photo credit- http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1271611