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Our Work in South Africa

Since 2009, Bethany Global has been active in improving child welfare in South Africa. Through local and U.S. organizations, we have provided a myriad of services to strengthen families and improve the lives of children. Bethany continues to find ways to expand services in South Africa.


Meet the Children

The children are most often between 4 and 12 years old and have been living in orphanages. A few children may be younger. Boys, girls, and older sibling groups may be adopted. Parents may request the gender of their child. Bethany offers adoption of children with identified special placement needs who can be found on Bethany’s Waiting Child Database (e.g., children living with HIV and other disabilities).

Child Protection and Welfare in South Africa

South Africa is a leader in children’s issues among African countries. In 2005, Act 38 The Children’s Act became law through the country’s Department of Social Development. This created a strategic plan to direct the development of alternative care, foster care, adoption, prevention, and protection of children and to put community social workers in place. Despite these strides in child welfare, the need is still great. Millions of South Africa’s children are living in extreme poverty, are the heads of their households, have HIV/AIDS, are living in orphanages, or are facing other dire circumstances.

Foster Care in South Africa

Every child has the right to a nurturing, protective family. Only a family setting can best support a child’s spiritual, physical, psychological, social, and emotional needs. Many orphans and vulnerable children in our world cannot live with their families of origin because of abandonment, migration, war, abuse, disease, or systemic problems within the country.

Bethany views institutional care, such as orphanages or transitional homes, as an absolute last resort for children. To that end, we work through international foster care to identify and train local foster parents who take these special children into their homes.

Domestic Adoption in South Africa

In South Africa, our goal for all children, is to provide them with a permanent family. In many cases this happens in stages. First, Bethany must work to deinstitutionalize children through foster care placements, emphasizing the need for permanency. Our goal is that these foster families will adopt. South Africa's precious children are yearning for a lifelong family who will surround them with love and care, and Bethany hopes to provide that.

Keeping Families Together

A loving, stable family is central to a child’s safety and well-being. Bethany offers a range of community-based family support services. One of the main goals is to keep families together by helping them through hard times. To provide vital in-country social services to children and families in need, we partner with Setshabelo Family and Child Services which is based in Botshabelo, Free State, South Africa.

Adoption from South Africa

For several years, Bethany was the only U.S. agency permitted to assist with international adoptions. Today, we are one of two U.S. adoption agencies working in South Africa.

Our overseas partners for international adoption are Wandisa™ and Wybrow Oliver Attorneys. Wandisa, which means “one who adds to the family” in Zulu and Xhosa, is Hague accredited for the United States, France, and the Netherlands. They were the first child protection organization designated under the Children’s Act in South Africa.

LaVida is another U.S. private, nonprofit, Hague-accredited adoption agency with which we partner for international adoptions.

Waiting Children

What does it cost to adopt a child from another country?

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Bethany in South Africa

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Learn about the adoption requirements including: age, marriage, income, and estimated length of stay when you travel.

Adoption Requirements and Fees

We are here for you throughout your entire adoption journey, and even long after your child comes home. Through our post-adoption services, we’ll give you and your adopted child the help and support you need.

Post-Adoption Support
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