So, you’re at a point in your life where you’re starting to think about having children. More specifically, you’re thinking about adopting. Maybe it’s because you’re single. Maybe it’s because you can’t have children of your own. Or maybe you just want to offer a home to a child who doesn’t have one. Whatever your reasoning, remember that adopting is a big, life-altering experience and a huge commitment. Which is why, before you look into adoption in South Africa, you should carefully consider whether you’re ready.


While there are many reasons why you might want to adopt, there might also be many reasons why you should not. If you find yourself unsure as to whether now is the right time to bring a child into your home, look for these three signs. If you identify with one or more of the following, you might want to reconsider adopting in the near future.


You’re in an unhealthy amount of debt

You need to be financially stable in order to raise a child, whether they’re adopted or not. You have to be sure you can afford all the necessities that a child needs. They aren’t cheap. Besides all the basics, like nappies (if they’re still a baby), food, school or daycare, you’ll also have to save for their future to ensure that they’re always looked after. Plus, you’ll probably want them to have all the necessities that their peers, cousins and friends have.

If you’re in serious amounts of debt, you’re not financially stable. A financially stable person doesn’t have to pay off three credit cards, two long-term loans and the payday loan they took out to get through the previous month. If you’re living from paycheque to paycheque, and barely making that work, then you’re definitely not ready to adopt a child. If this is something you really want, then make it your mission to sort out your finances and free yourself from debt.


You wouldn’t be able to take off more than a week or two from work

Some companies offer paid maternity leave while others offer unpaid maternity leave. But would your company be willing to let you take time off work in order to make sure your adopted child settles into your home and life? You’ll definitely need more than a week or two to bond with your child. They might be afraid at first and uncomfortable in their new surroundings. And it’s your job to ensure they feel safe, loved and cared for. You can’t do that when you can only spend a short period of time at home with them before handing them over to a nanny or daycare.

Speak to your manager or boss and find out how long they’d be willing to let you stay away from work. You might find that they’re sympathetic and will allow you to take a month or even two off (whether paid or unpaid). They might even be happy for you to work from home during this time. But you also might find that, since you’re not pregnant, they won’t allow you to take off any more time than the balance of your annual paid leave. Be open and honest with your employer about your intentions before you choose to start the adoption process. You don’t want to have to hurry back to work too soon or risk not receiving a paycheque for however long you choose to stay home.


You don’t have as much job security as you’d like

As mentioned earlier, you need to be financially stable in order to be able to care for a child properly. This means you have to have a steady income that you can count on every single month. If you feel like your job might become redundant in the future or the company is downsizing and it’s possible you might be retrenched, now is certainly not the time to adopt. You don’t want to find yourself unemployed and looking for a job while trying to look after a child.

If you don’t have as much job security as you’d like, then it’s best to wait. Go out and actively start looking for a position that you know will last for the long-term. Make sure you have no reason to doubt that you’ll be employed for at least the next year or so before even considering adopting. You need to be responsible and think wisely when it comes to big decisions like whether to adopt a child.


There are many other out there that might be telling you not to adopt. But the above three are definitely good reasons to wait until you’re ready to adopt. Rather wait to be certain before you make such a huge life-altering choice.

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