Do babies matter in South Africa?” This is the big question being asked by child protection organisations and advocates as there are increasing incidents of child abandonment, child abuse, child neglect, and child murder. “During the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children in November 2017, an intensive campaign, called #BabiesMatter, which was run by veteran child protection activist, Luke Lamprecht, came to the rather depressing conclusion that not all babies actually matter…” the National Adoption Coalition of South Africa (Nacsa) said in media statement.
While adoption rates among the black community grow marginally, we still lag behind other racial groups when it comes to adopting children. Why? Adoption advocate Dee Blackie, who has conducted extensive research into the subject over the years, believes it’s got a lot to do with ancestral considerations. From a traditional perspective, families are guided and connected by their ancestors who help them understand who they are and it gives some people an uneasy feeling about who they are bringing into the fold when a person’s ancestry is unknown, as would be the case in an adoption,” she said.
As we celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday, we honour all forms motherhood comes in, because as Oprah Winfrey once said, “biology is the least of what makes someone a mother”. And there are countless women who never give birth, but who’ve made amazing mothers and/or mother figures. Mother of two, proudly via adoption, Sharon van Wyk said after her seventh miscarriage, she switched her focus to the legacy and responsibility of parenting a child, irrespective of genes.