Well, the answer is not yet but we’re getting there! I’ve loved being a small part of Team #fixadoptionSA, led by Arise Cape Town‘s Director, Steven Nicholson. On behalf of all adoptive parents in South Africa, we want to say a massive thank you to Arise for putting your time and resources behind this campaign!
Let’s have a look back and see what Team #fixadoptionSA has been up to and how close they are to their goal.
Phase one: Way back in April, Arise launched #fixadoptionSA with an open letter to Home Affairs Minister Gigaba. Home Affairs was given two weeks to respond with answers to their questions:
1. What is the process for changing your adopted child’s name?
2. How do you apply for your adopted child’s new unabridged birth certificate?
There is so much confusion as the process seems to vary between each Home Affairs and depending on who you talk to and so no one really knows for sure what the necessary steps are. Arise called for the public to to share the letter on social media and tweet the link with hashtag #fixadoptionSA to @mgigaba and @HomeAffairsSA.
The campaign was shared widely within the South African adoption community and reached 135 745 people with 3285 interactions with the post. The campaign video was viewed 5800 times. This is incredible!
Top Billing presenter Jonathan Boynton-Lee (who was adopted as a kid) as well as celeb couple Nico & Christi Panagio (who are parents through adoption) joined our Twitter campaign in an attempt to grab Minister Gigaba’s attention. Although Minister Gigaba didn’t personally respond as we’d hoped, #fixadoptionSA was picked up by media left right and centre. Arise was approached for on air interviews on Cape Talk and SAFM, E-News video features and online articles in the Rapport and Times LIVE.
Phase 2: Arise missioned to Parliament to hear Minister Gigaba’s budget speech and engage with the media, and I got to tag along. Our parliament visit coincided nicely with the two week deadline that we gave Minister Gigaba to respond and so we decided to do our best to connect with the right people while we were there. We handed out printed copies of the open letter and chatted to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Fatima Chohan who personally committed to meeting with us and answering the questions in the open letter. It was the first time that Fatima Chohan had heard of the campaign but she readily agreed to get on board and partner with us to #fixadoptionSA.
Phase 3: Steven Nicholson met with Fatima Chohan and officials from the Civic Services division to discuss the Department of Home Affairs’ processes for adoptive families. The Deputy Minister took time to clearly understand all of the questions and the variables involved in the processes and undetook to respond to all of the questions in the open letter as well as load the clear process onto the Department of Home Affairs website.
She also committed to personally investigate the root causes of the delays of each person who submitted their stories with all of their supporting paperwork. WIN!
Thank you, Deputy Minister Chohan – we’re sending those adoption stories your way and look forward to celebrating once your website is updated to include clear processes for adoptive families! Watch this space!