Stories from the nursery: 2nd Quarter 2016

Our two Babies Homes, Fairhavens and Ububele, are currently caring for ten babies and toddlers. That ten’s little lives we’re able to provide a safe, stimulating and happy home for. Apart from being busy with the daily routines of caring for ten little ones we’ve also busy with getting our children ready for adoption. That means visits to court, doctors and meetings with the social workers. This past quarter we’ve said goodbye to one of our babies, a seven-month-old, who has been adopted by an awesome local family.

B Babies pot (2)

In Ububele…

Baby R has been with Crisis Care mom Precious for almost a year. The little six year old is at a local Preschool and loves learning new things everyday. Swimming and ballet are some of her favourite after-school activities and she even received a medal for swimming. Baby R is now ready for adoption.

Baby S’s health condition is improving. The five year old boy arrived at the Domino Babies’ Home almost a year ago after he was abandoned at Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital. When he arrived he was very sick and it was decided that for his health it was better for him to stay at the home and not go to preschool so that he can gain his strength back – which has been doing in leaps and bounds!

Baby T is a happy twenty month year old baby who is doing well under the care and guidance of the home. Since he’s arrived he’s gained weight and has learned to crawl – keeping the caregivers running around after him!

Baby U is a healthy little two year old girl who was found walking on the street by the police. Precious and the caregivers believe she’s from another African country because she’s been unable to speak in English, isiZulu or Xhosa. After taking some time to settle into her new home she’s finally starting to learn some words in isiZulu and English and is slowly gaining her communication skills back.

Baby V was bought to the social workers by her grandma because it is believed that her mother is unfit to look after her child. A bubbly little ball of joy the seven month old has just learned how to crawl and is enjoying her new transition home.

In Fairhavens…

Baby Q is a seven month old that is almost ready for adoption. He’s been battling with his breathing so has been undergoing testing at Addington Hospital with results still pending. We’re praying for a quick and smooth recovery.

Baby M is a beautiful five year old girl who has been with Domino Babies’ Home for over a year. She loves going to Preschool and always comes home excited and ready for school the next day.

Baby N is brother of Baby M and has really grown up in the home and is learning his place in the house. He’s now a two year old boy, very different from the baby he was  when he arrived .

Baby O is a little girl who just had her third birthday. She’s sister to Baby P, an eleven month old. Both pairs of siblings are in complicated legal cases and have not been abandoned but have been placed in the Domino Babies’ Home by Social workers because their home environment is unsafe. Their cases are both still pending so until they are sortd Domino Babies’ Home will continue to provide a place of refuge and restoration.

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Babies Effects 4th Quarter 2015

This year the Domino Foundation’s two Babies Homes were able to provide a safe, loving and nurturing environment for twelve abandoned babies and toddlers. That means that twelve little lives were rescued from unfair circumstances and cared for by caregivers. We celebrate the four children who found their forever home and the one precious life who was restored to his family.

One such story of joy is about Baby Senzo’s international adoption. Because his parents were from Denmark they only had two weeks of bonding time before they flew to South Africa to take him home. To get Senzo ready for his adoption they gave him a storybook for house mother, Precious, to read to him every night. This helped him become familiar with his soon to be pet dog and family and brother, who is also adopted like him. What innovative parenting!

Another amazing story from the Babies Home has been the restoration of a brother and sister. The both arrived at the Babies Home at the beginning of the year with blotted pasts. Through some ingenious investigation from Child Welfare it was discovered that they were in fact brother and sister, and unbeknownst to everyone had been placed in the same home. At the end of this year they were both adopted by the same family, a testament to God’s bigger plans.

The Domino Foundation Babies Homes would not be able to continue running without the generosity of gifts and time by this community. Thank you to everyone has contributed in some way or form – you have made us shine.

Fair Havens 2 013

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Are you ready to adopt?

                                                        Seeing the smile on the face of a baby as he recognises his mother in a crowded room…

Adoption - Giving life & hope to children

Adoption – Giving life & hope to children

That same child’s crying face as he’s scared to take his 1st steps through the gate at pre-school…

The sense of achievement as he finishes first in his schools sports day…

These are moments that parents cherish with their children as they experience the different stages of life as a  normal child…

So why should a child miss out on these moments, purely because he was abandoned and left up for  adoption. Adopting a child is an adventurous journey of giving someone the experiences that they would not otherwise encounter…

So you’re ready to adopt, you’ve made the brave decision to open your heart to an abandoned baby, to give them the chance at a ‘normal’ life…yet where do you begin? Where do I go? What is the process that I have to go through? Do I have to be married to adopt? Is there an age limit?

We contacted the Child Welfare Durban & District to answer some of the numerous questions surrounding adoptions. There are 2 branches to the adoptions process that run simultaneously, that of the adoptive baby and that of the prospective parents.

From the baby’s side, there are two ways as to how he/she can land up on the adoptive list. On the one side, a mother can consent to giving up her baby for adoption and so the required medical procedures begin as soon as possible, after birth. On the other hand, the baby or sometimes even toddler may be left abandoned by its parents. Now in this case, when the child is reported, the child is placed at a babies home but is not up for adoption as of yet. The welfare has to post notice of the missing child in the area where it was found and the search for the child’s family begins. If after a certain period of time, someone has not arrived to claim the child, or if no suitable relative is located, the police will close the case and file a report stating that the child becomes ‘property of the state’. Once this occurs, the baby is placed on the Adoption Register, pending the results of the required medical tests. Depending on the length and results of the babies medical procedures, as well as the search for ‘next of kin’, the baby will likely take 3 months before being ‘ready’ for adoption.

On the branch of the prospective Parents, the process is slightly more in-depth. When a person has decided to provide an infant with a loving home environment, they would need to contact the Child Welfare Durban and District, where they would be invited to an orientation programme. On the 1st Monday of every month, the Welfare holds an orientation programme, detailing the adoption process, the types of babies available for adoption and the required application forms to be completed. Once the programme and required forms have been completed, the screening process begins. A social worker will be assigned to the prospective parents and together, they will carry out the relevant checks (Marriage, Police, Background checks, bank statements, assurance of job stability, references etc.) and review the motivation for adoption. Both single parent adoptions and nuclear family adoptions are accepted, although 1st preference is for a complete family unit for the child.

A panel meets once a month to review the findings of the prospective parents. Here the social worker presents the cases to the panel, where they view potential challenges, discuss documentation and supply additional motivations. If approved, then the prospective parents are added to the Adoption Register and the matching process begins. Depending on the background clearance checks, sufficient documentation needed and outcomes from the panel, the duration of this leg of the process can be anywhere from 3 to 6 months before being placed on the Adoption Register.Once both the adoptive baby and prospective parents are on the Adoption List, the social workers begin the matching process. Where possible, they will try to place the baby in a similar culture, but dependant on availability of adoptive baby’s, this is not always possible. A preference of the welfare is for the prospective parents to not have a particular child in mind when applying for adoption, before the matching has been verified. This is due to families bonding with babies that may not yet be cleared for adoption, and have the opportunity to be reunited with a relative. For the welfare, the child’s needs come before anything else, and they prefer to see which applicant can best suit the needs of the child.

Adoption Process Tree

Adoption Process Tree

Regarding an age limit, the cut-off age for adopting newborn babies, is 45 years old. Prospective families and parents that are in their 30’s and older, are encouraged to adopt toddlers and older children rather than newborns. However, the age limit is not set in stone as each case is unique and will be brought before the panel and treated accordingly. All will depend on the individual’s motivation and supporting documentation.The adoption process is brought to a close, when a match has been found and approved, and the paperwork has been completed. By this time, the bonding process between parent and child has already occurred and the adopted baby is whisked away to its’ ‘happily ever after’.

All in all, the length of the entire process from beginning to end will vary between  6 to 12 months, according to possible challenges during the registration of birth (baby’s side), the screening process (parent’s side) and the matching process.

If you’re looking to adopt or would like more info, please contact Nashina/Jasu at the Child Welfare Durban & District on 031-312 9313 or you can email to

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Party Babies!

The late Whitney Houston famously sang “I believe the children are our future” and if that is the case, given the plight of so many of South Africa’s children, we do not have much to look forward to.  Fortunately, however, the staff and volunteers at Fairhavens Babies’ Home and many other children’s shelters work tirelessly to ensure that the children in their care have the hope of a better and brighter future.

Children who live in care facilities are no different from children the world over – they love parties! However these fun-filled occasions, which are such a highlight of any child’s life, are all too often luxuries that many of these children have to forgo. Enter Kaveri from Kiddies WoW WoW Parties, who was inspired to throw a themed party for orphaned children.  She had the bright idea of using Facebook to publicise her plan, proving that social networks can play a positive part in our community. Within minutes of uploading her post:  “WoW WoW Parties wants to plan a kids’ PARTY for ORPHANS – an orphanage in the greater DURBAN area with limited resources and exposure would be ideal”, numerous supporters expressed their interest and party plans began to take shape.   Wow Wow Parties posted monthly updates to keep their supporters informed and the end result was that in December 2011, 25 families gathered at Fairhavens to throw a party that the children will never forget.  WoW WoW Parties spared no effort or expense to give the Fairhavens babies and toddlers the full VIP treatment and with imaginative party décor, colourful balloons, fancy cupcakes, gifts, jumping castles, and even children’s rides, the residents of Fairhavens had an unforgettable day.

It was also a special celebration as two of Fairhavens’ babies were adopted in December. Baby P arrived at Fairhavens as a prem baby, having been given up for adoption by her mother. She lived at Fairhavens for about a year before moving on to complete a special family. Baby S was found wandering around a shopping centre, having been abandoned by her mother. She arrived at Fairhavens about 10 months ago and will celebrate her third birthday with her new family here in South Africa.  The WoW WoW party added to an already momentous occasion and these special children got a memorable send-off, thanks to the people from WoW WoW Parties.

Fairhavens is always in need of the kindness of generous hearts like the folk from Wow Wow Parties, particularly in the form of financial contributions. If you would like to help in any way please contact us at (031) 563 9605 or go visit our website at

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Holiday of Hope

For most of us, holidays play a prominent part in our childhood memories, familiar destinations for an enjoyable meander down memory lane. But there are many children who do not have the luxury of holidays and who will have no fond memories to recall in later years.

Last term, Indlela took members of the Amaoti 3 Girls’ Club to Hibberdene Children’s Holiday Home on KwaZulu-Natal’s South Coast for a memorable night away, for many their first experience of a holiday away from home. The Girl’s and Boys’ Clubs aim to provide pupils with constructive and creative after-school activities as a positive alternative to the risky behaviour that is common to unoccupied adolescents.

A bus packed with young girls, youth workers from Indlela’s Learning For Life programme, and staff set off from Amaoti to the accompaniment of singing, laughter and a buzz of excited conversation. On arriving at their destination, the girls were allocated beds and divided into teams. A programme of fun team-building activities kicked-off with some of the girls venturing into the ocean for the first time. The evening was spent watching movies, chatting and strengthening friendships. The next morning, the girls enjoyed a walk along the beautiful beach and a refreshing swim before tackling more team-building projects.

It wasn’t a five-star hotel in an exotic foreign location, but for some of the girls it offered the unusual luxury of having a bed to themselves, instead of having to share with at least one sibling. In accordance with Zulu culture, these young girls usually go home after school and start a round of household chores. For once, they were free from such responsibilities and encouraged to experience new and exciting activities. They certainly returned home with a fund of memories to remember fondly in weeks to come.

Girls Enjoying having their 'own' bed

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