Monday, February 22, 2010

Dear Mr President

Dear President Zuma,
This is my 2nd email regarding the following matter. I am begining to see why the Department of Home Affairs has a suicide on their conscience. I am foster mother to a 2 year old girl, Simphiwe. She's been in my care since she was 9 months old. She was born in South Africa, Tembisa Hospital to an undocumented, illegal Zimbabwean mother and South African father. The mother & father are not married. Simphiwe's birth was not registered, and once the foster care case was finalised on 3 April 2009 I attempted to register her. I was met with refusal from Home Affairs. The mother was in prison at the time, but they would not allow the South African father to register her because the mother had no documents, and was in prison. Even though we had proof of the birth (which the official at Home Affairs in Kempton Park took from me with the application form), all we were issued was a "foreigner" birth certificate (Unabridged Birth Certificate with no id number). When I was handed this certificate, the official at Home Affairs said the following, "This child is going to suffer because of this birth certificate."
We wish to adopt Simphiwe, but adoption cannot be finalised without a birth certificate, and home affairs will not issue a birth certificate without adoption papers! In the meantime, our family is stuck in the middle, and this child is being punished by the state due to circumstances beyond her control. She's being denied the right to a family. Also, as a child in the foster-care system, she is currently a financial burden on an already overburdened State, a burden that we will gladly relieve the State of.
According to Home Affiars Edenvale, Simphiwe is now considered to be an "illegal immigrant", even though she has never been in any other country aside from this one. Nobody seems able to assist me with this, nobody is willing to get involved or make a decision to help this child. I have been to Home Affairs in Kempton Park seven times, and to Edenvale twice regarding this issue. I do not know where else to turn.
Simphiwe was born here, she has never left South Africa. She is not Zimbabwean. She has been living with us, a South African family for most of her life, and will continue to do so. Please help us - we are desperate to give her an identity and stability in knowing she belongs.