This is an addition to the existing prerequisites prescribing that a parent wishing to take their children out of the country is required to get the other parent’s permission. Proof of the consent must be contained in an affidavit concluded by the consenting parent.
In the 2011/2012 year Missing Children South Africa reported 345 cases of missing children. While a Global Report compiled by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in 2012 Global showed that in the 2010/2011 year a total of 13 children were victims of human trafficking in SA.
What may be of concern is divorcees who are unable to get consent from the other parent. This may be due to the other parent’s unavailability or simple refusal. The law does allow for parents to obtain permission from a South African High Court. If the court grants an order or allows the emigration – no consent from the other parent is required.
This is often the ideal route for skilled single parents who have received work offers abroad and seek to emigrate with their children.
In order to convince a court to grant such an order, parents must offer reasons why emigrating would be in the children’s best interest and plausible reasons for wanting to emigrate.
A parent’s absconding of these requirements and subsequent relocation with a child would constitute international child abduction. Where such a parent is reported, the Central Authorities of the country in which the child was taken to and the country where the child was taken from usually arrange for the child’s return.
By: Geruza Patricia Bumba