Posts by Robyn

Seven top tips for adoptive parents Part 2

Seven top tips for adoptive parents Part 2

Robyn Wolfson Vorster In this two-part article, the focus is on how we as adoptive parents, can best parent our adoptees.  Part 1 contained tips 1-4.  This article explores the last three. 5. Your child should not remember the first time they heard their adoption story Years ago, I watched an episode of the sitcom “Friends” where Chandler inadvertently told...

Seven top tips for adoptive parents Part 1

Seven top tips for adoptive parents Part 1

by Robyn Wolfson Vorster  As adoptive parents, we should constantly be learning how to parent our adoptees better, which led me to documenting these seven top tips for adoptive parents, along with some related dos and don’ts.  But first a disclaimer.   I am a step-mother, a biological mother, an adoptive mom and even a grandmother.  It makes me a veteran...

Undocumented children in SA: Averting the coming catastrophe

Undocumented children in SA: Averting the coming catastrophe

Just days before the start of Child Protection Week 2017, a physiotherapist in Soweto made the horror discovery of a nine-year-old disabled boy, naked, rat bitten, covered in faeces and starving to death, one of 14 living in a tiny shack. He is the face of undocumented children in Gauteng, he is the reason why we can no longer...

Adoptions in KwaZulu-Natal: Control, collateral damage and unintended consequences

Adoptions in KwaZulu-Natal: Control, collateral damage and unintended consequences

Robyn Wolfson Vorster After 18 months of agonising stalemate in KwaZulu Natal adoptions, two vulnerable children, a questionable social development decision and a landmark High Court ruling may have paved the way for adoptions to resume in the province. But in the strange world of government’s unintended consequences, inter-country adoptions could now be easier than local ones. It surely...

Dirty tricks, delays and deception: The sabotage of child protection

Dirty tricks, delays and deception: The sabotage of child protection

Robyn Wolfson Vorster In May 2016, the Department of Social Development called an immediate halt to adoptions in KwaZulu-Natal over alleged child trafficking. A year later, and despite an ugly witch hunt against one local family, the assertions remain unproven. But the adoption process in the province with the highest number of orphans has been radically altered. The new...

The aftermath of child abandonment

The aftermath of child abandonment

There are very few stories told about how it feels to be abandoned at birth.  It makes Sindi’s amazing account of being aborted and abandoned when her mother was six months pregnant even more powerful. Miraculously, she survived her abandonment, and is now in her 40s. Despite her prematurity and a very unsettled childhood, where she was moved from one...

Social Development: Going to hell in a handbasket

Social Development: Going to hell in a handbasket

Robyn Wolfson Vorster   Over the course of the Social Grants crisis, the Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini was accused of incompetence, ulterior motives and most famously of showing “disdain for the country’s most vulnerable”.  All appear apt, but it is disdain for the weak and the poor that has most characterised the recent debacle, and her tenure...

Sounding the death knell for adoption

Sounding the death knell for adoption

Robyn Wolfson Vorster The 2016 World Adoption Day celebrations are proving muted, overshadowed by the election soap opera in America, and here at home by the crushing disclosure that there were only 1,165 adoptions last year. In a country with 3-million orphans and tens of thousands of crisis pregnancies annually, adoptions have stuttered and, in some cases, stopped. While...