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WATCH | Adoptions on hold: Shelters struggle with space for babies abandoned during lockdown

28 May 2020 - 21:41 By TimesLIVE

South Africa’s national Covid-19 lockdown has resulted in a dramatic increase in babies being abandoned. 

Like many other shelters, Door of Hope is struggling to cope with the demand. The shelter recently welcomed two new babies to their family, bringing the total number there to 73. The home is able to accommodate 76.

Part of the problem is that adoptions have been put on hold during levels 5 and 4 of the lockdown.

The Covid-19 crisis has affected the normal functioning of the departments of social development and justice, which grants adoption court dates. This has resulted in babies not being able to move to their new families, leaving limited space for other abandoned babies at shelters.

Door of Hope now only has three spaces left. "If we don't see the movement of children soon, then we are going to face a little bit of a struggle," says director Nadene Grabham.

While level 3 should see a return to normal in the department, administrative backlogs mean shelters are struggling to keep up.