South African Adoption

SPENCE-CHAPIN BEGAN ITS ADOPTION PROGRAM IN SOUTH AFRICA IN 2013. We partner with Johannesburg Child Welfare Society (JCW), a social service agency serving Johannesburg families since 1909. Spence-Chapin’s adoption program finds families for young children with special needs and sibling groups. Children receive excellent medical treatment at JCW.


  • Children with special needs ages 1-8 years old

Common medical conditions include HIV, Hepatitis B, auditory and visual impairments, extreme prematurity, developmental delays, and unpredictable cognitive challenges. Due to the HIV epidemic, there is a specific need in finding families for children who are HIV+.

  • Children will reflect the full range of ethnicity that exists in South Africa
  • Families are asked to be open to being matched with a child of either gender


Chris and Mary share their story of adopting their daughter from South Africa here.


  • Single men and women, married & unmarried couples, heterosexual and LGBT parents
  • Applicants aged 48 and older should consult with Spence-Chapin
  • Matched with a child 12-18 months after paperwork submission
  • 1 trip of approximately 4 weeks
  • Post-adoption reports required at 6 and 12 months and then annually for 5 additional years
  • Hague Convention Country

For more information about adopting a child with HIV, view our HIV Myth Vs. Fact video for family stories and resources.

Compare all adoption programs: download Adoption Program Grid

Humanitarian Aid

In April 2011, We were delighted to open our first Granny Program in Africa at JCW’s Othandweni Family Care Center in Soweto. Read more

Where is South Africa? 

Read the Department of State adoption alerts about South Africa here.