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Update Regarding Possible New South African Requirement Affecting Adopted Children

This is an update to our adoption notice of October 30, 2014.  We are aware of reports that, beginning June 1, 2015, the South African Department of Home Affairs (DHA) will require all adopted children to obtain amended and unabridged birth certificates that reflect the identity of the adoptive parent prior to exiting South Africa.  We are seeking confirmation of this change from the Government of South Africa. If confirmed, the option of maintaining the child’s original birth certificate reflecting the name of the birth parent(s), along with documentation to show their legal relationship to the child (typically an adoption order), will not be available starting June 1, 2015.  Obtaining an unabridged birth certificate can take more than a year, and may result in delays in the child’s ability to exit South Africa. We are raising our concerns over these delays and their impact on the affected children with the South African Central Authority. 

You may wish to contact your adoption service provider and/or the South African Department of Home Affairs with procedural questions related to obtaining the amended, unabridged birth certificate.  You may also wish to contact the nearest South African Embassy or Consulate for the latest information.  Please direct questions related to this notice or regarding a specific adoption from South Africa to the Department of State, Office of Children’s Issues.  You may reach us by phone at 1-888-407-4747 if you are calling from within the United States, or at 202-501-4444 if you are calling from outside the United States.  You may email us at AdoptionUSCA@state.gov.