The current legislative framework in South Africa (SA) supports adoption as the preferred form of care for children with inadequate or
no parental or family support. There are an estimated 3.8 million orphans in SA, with approximately 1.5 - 2 million children considered
adoptable. As a means of improving services, newly drafted adoption guidelines from the National Department of Social Development will
in future require both non-profit and private sector adoption agencies to obtain a medical report on a child prior to placement. However,
no local guidelines specify what an appropriate medical examination entails or how it should be reported. For the purposes of proposing
and developing such guidelines, an open forum was convened at the Institute of Pathology, University of Pretoria, in March 2013. These
‘Recommendations for the medical evaluation of children prior to adoption in South Africa’ emanate from this meeting.