In South Africa, statistics show that there are approximately 3 million orphans (these include over 500 000 maternal orphans, 1.8 million paternal orphans and more than 600 000 double orphans). In addition, we have tens of thousands of crisis pregnancies annually. Some of these children live in relatively safe kinship or communal care relationships but experts suggest that just over half (1.8 million) could benefit from adoption (either by extended family–to afford them a permanent, legal, familial relationship–or by unrelated families).
The children most in need of adoption are those abandoned by their families. Statistics indicate that there are about 3500 such children abandoned annually and although not all of these children survive, if they have no family or kin, they desperately need adoptive families to care for them.
Of the 1.8 million children in need of adoption, only a tiny fraction find adoptive families. In 2013, 1669 children were adopted and in 2014, the number dropped to 1448. This is half the number of adoptions that took place ten years ago in 2004 (when 2840 adoptions took place). In 2015 these numbers have once again dropped to 1165, most of which are step-parent adoptions.
To understand the reasons why there has been such a dramatic drop in adoptions, visit the News Articles section of this website.