• The adoptive father looked after the child for 10 years
A bitter custody battle between a grandma and an adoptive father ended this week when the judge ruled in the latter’s favor.
The custody case between the child’s maternal grandmother Bonthodile Dinao and adoptive father Tebogo Monnane began shortly after the child’s mother died in July 2021.
In her founding declaration, the grandmother informed the court that she was on 2
The reason for custody of the child, according to grandmother, was that Monnane had not legally adopted the child.
“After the funeral, she requested[Großmutter]to give her grandchild because she was not legally adopted and his birth father once appeared when the deceased and her husband were preparing for marriage, but later disappeared, ”said her affidavit.
According to the grandmother, the adoptive father refused to hand over the documents required to transfer the child to another school, as well as the documents required to register the child for the orphan care program with the Kgalagadi District Council.
According to the September 15 social investigation report, the social workers’ assessment found that the stepfather had been living with the stepchild since the day he married the child’s mother.
“Tebogo Monname did not adopt the child. There is no legal document making Monname a guardian of the child, ”the report said.
However, Monname argued that he adopted the child in accordance with common law.
“When I met my wife, who has since passed away, she indicated that the child’s biological father had long since left the child and that he is not involved in the child’s life and care. They separated when she was pregnant. I then took on the child’s father figure when the child was one year old, and looked after it and still do it today. He knows me as his father, ”Monname told the court.
According to Monname, when he finally married the child’s mother, he stated that he would adopt the child. He said that his uncle, who headed the delegation, told his wife’s family and they agreed.
“In fact, it was raised by my wife’s family to ask whether ‘ke e gapa le namane kana jang’ means whether I will also adopt the child into our marriage,” the stepfather said in court.
He went on to claim that he was shocked by the behavior of his mother-in-law after his wife’s death a few months ago, and he was also taken care of.
“My child cannot be accepted into an orphan care program while I am still alive and able to care for them. The behavior of the complainant (the grandmother) is not in the best interests of the child as it destabilizes the child by placing their care in the hands of the government, ”he argued.
The adoptive father’s lawyer, Uyapo Ndadi, argued in the course of the proceedings that customary law was recognized by law and that Section 16 of the Child Adoption Regulations was instructive.
“Since the adoption, the defendant has implemented the adoption agreement. He was the father figure and the child’s provider. He has also established a good and healthy relationship with his adopted son. We believe that the complainant’s behavior in suddenly uprooting the child from his normal environment deserves condemnation, ”argued Ndadi.
In the end, the magistrate decided in favor of the adoptive father.