The desire for information about genetic and social origins is not unusual amongst adoptees and does not reflect an abnormal adjustment to their adoption. It is also not dependent on the relationship with their adoptive parents although this relationship can have some bearing on the intensity of the search. Time and time again adoptees reiterate that “blood is important”.

Many adoptees are not looking for a new family but merely for information, and the best way of obtaining this information is from the biological family.

In terms off the Children’s Act No 38 of 2005, an adoptee may search for information from the adoption register when he/she is over the age of 18 years.

The adoptive parent may also access the information after the adoptee is 18 years old.

The biological parent may obtain information from the register when the child is 18 years old, but only if the adoptive parent and the adopted child give their consent to this in writing.

The Act also refers to the fact that a person may be required to receive counselling before information is disclosed. Adoption accredited social workers are able to offer this counselling and then provide the information to the Registrar of Adoptions stating that the parties concerned have received the necessary counselling. The Adoption SA social workers are able to offer this counselling.