New Travel Requirements for Children Visiting South Africa

South-Africa-Traveling-With-ChildrenWe’re planning to visit South Africa in August with our son, whom is adopted. While trying to keep abreast of travel requirements, we came across a new set of laws requiring that all children traveling to or from South Africa show an “unabridged birth certificate” (“All children entering or departing South Africa also will be required to travel with his/her original, unabridged, long-form birth certificate in hand.  The exact contents of unabridged birth certificates vary among the different jurisdictions that issue birth certificates (countries, states, counties, cities, etc.), but the key distinction between an “abridged” and “unabridged” birth certificate is that an unabridged birth certificate identifies the parents of the child.” US Those of us that have adopted with also be required to show an adoption decree.

Traveler24’s article “17 Things you need to know about travelling with minors in SA” says:

There is no such thing as an unabridged birth certificate in our country, what must we do?

In the case of countries that do not issue unabridged birth certificates, a letter to this effect issued by the competent authority of the foreign country should be produced.

My child is adopted so our names are not on her birth certificate, what should I do?
The parents of adopted children should produce proof of adoption by means of an adoption certificate.

I’m wondering if we’ll have to take:

  • Original birth certificate
  • Amended birth certificate
  • Adoption decree

The new rules go into effect June 1, 2015. That means that we’ll be among the first groups of tourists to be subjected to the new rules. I was hoping that once his adoption was final we wouldn’t have to carry around bundles of paperwork, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Of course I’d like governments to clamp down on child trafficking, I just didn’t think that those efforts would effect me so much.

Here’s hoping that we don’t get deported.

In case you’d like to speak with someone at the Consulate:

The South African Consulate General
in Chicago, Illinois
200 South Michigan Avenue, 6th Floor
Chicago, IL 60604
Tel. (312) 939-7929
Fax: (312) 939-2588

The South African Consulate General
in Los Angeles, CA
6300 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 600
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Tel. (323) 651-0902
Fax: (323) 651-5969

The South African Consulate General
in New York City
333 East 38th Street,
9th Floor
New York NY 10016
Tel: (212) 213-4880
Fax: (212) 856-1575

The South African Embassy in Washington, DC
3051 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Tel: (202) 232-4400
Fax: (202) 244-9417




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