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Recommendations for the medical evaluation of children prior to adoption in South Africa

Ahmad F Haeri Mazanderani, Nicolette M du Plessis, Janet Lumb, Ute D Feucht, Marcelle Myburgh, Simnikiwe H Mayaphi, Molebogeng R Lekalakala, De Wet Swanepoel, Hellen Georgakis, Theunis Avenant

Abstract


The current legislative framework in South Africa (SA) supports adoption as the preferred form of care for children with inadequate or no parental or family support. There are an estimated 3.8 million orphans in SA, with approximately 1.5 - 2 million children considered adoptable. As a means of improving services, newly drafted adoption guidelines from the National Department of Social Development will in future require both non-profit and private sector adoption agencies to obtain a medical report on a child prior to placement. However, no local guidelines specify what an appropriate medical examination entails or how it should be reported. For the purposes of proposing and developing such guidelines, an open forum was convened at the Institute of Pathology, University of Pretoria, in March 2013. These ‘Recommendations for the medical evaluation of children prior to adoption in South Africa’ emanate from this meeting.

Authors' affiliations

Ahmad F Haeri Mazanderani, Department of Medical Virology, Tshwane Academic Division, National Health Laboratory Service; University of Pretoria, South Africa

Nicolette M du Plessis, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Pretoria; Kalafong Hospital, Pretoria, South Africa

Janet Lumb, Thusanani Children’s Foundation, Gauteng, South Africa

Ute D Feucht, Tshwane District Clinical Specialist Team; Department of Paediatrics, Kalafong Hospital; University of Pretoria, South Africa

Marcelle Myburgh, Department of Medical Virology, Tshwane Academic Division, National Health Laboratory Service; University of Pretoria, South Africa

Simnikiwe H Mayaphi, Department of Medical Virology, Tshwane Academic Division, National Health Laboratory Service; University of Pretoria, South Africa

Molebogeng R Lekalakala, Department of Medical Microbiology, Tshwane Academic Division, National Health Laboratory Service; University of Pretoria, South Africa

De Wet Swanepoel, Department of Communication Pathology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Hellen Georgakis, Department of Neurosurgery, Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa

Theunis Avenant, Department of Paediatrics, Kalafong Hospital; University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Keywords

Adoption; Abandoned children; Medical evaluation

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2014;104(8):544-549. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.7958

Article History

Date submitted: 2014-01-17
Date published: 2014-06-19

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