You do not have to adopt the child but the child in question will have to be added to the mother's Form VAF4 as a dependent of her so that the child receives a visa as well.
The father would be free to object to the removal of the child from the country and could presumably issue proceedings under South African family law for a Court order to stop this happening if he were so minded.
Adoption proceedings can be issued in the UK, but it would be a bit more protracted than normal due the the father being in SA as he would likely need to be contacted for his consent to the adoption.
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Thankyou very much for your answer, incidently the father is actually a scottish citizen so i would imagine that would make adoption proceeding easier.
I was more referring the practical difficulty of getting his consent because he is in South Africa ~(eg posting).
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Sorry i did'nt make myself very clear the natural father is actually a born and raised British citizen based in the UK, and has no family ties with South Africa other than being the natural father. The unplanned pregnancy came about when my wife was in the UK under a work visa. Since learning of my wifes pregnancy he has had no contact and does not pay any child maintaince. So i'm assuming it would be more straightforward?
The adoption process is only a little more complicated because of the location of the natural father (ie. because he is in SA) not because of his citizenship. He will have to be contacted in SA about the adoption regardless of his nationality/citizenship.
Insofar as the visa application is concerned the child need only be listed in the form as above. It will be for the child's father to object if he so chooses.
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