x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Abandoned babies given new homes

The infants were being cared for by staff at the Sharjah Child Care Centre.

SHARJAH // Four babies abandoned in Sharjah have found new homes with Emirati families.

The infants were being looked after by staff at the Sharjah Child Care Centre (SCCC) until a suitable family was approved by the emirate's adoption committee.

Of 10 cases presented to the committee, four were accepted. Decisions on three were postponed until the next meeting and three were rejected for not meeting necessary requirements.

The committee consists of officials from Sharjah Medical Zone, Sharjah Police and Sharjah Court, among others, and was chaired by Sheikh Mohammed bin Saqqar Al Qassimi, the Ministry of Health undersecretary and director of Sharjah Medical Zone.

The rules surrounding adoption in Sharjah are strict. Only Emirati families can adopt a child, and only if they can provide a financially stable home environment.

People who have been declared bankrupt will not be considered, nor will those who fail medical tests for diseases such as HIV. A police good conduct report is also necessary.

"We also consider the race of the adopting family. A black child who lives at the centre would go to a black Emirati family because we don't want the child growing up completely different," said Fatima Al Marzouqi, the director of the SCCC.

Potential parents must also inform the child that he or she is adopted at an early age.

"The adopted family is required to tell the child at the age of six that he or she is an orphan, in a good way. They should tell them that many people are orphans but live well with other people, and that also our beloved Prophet was an orphan."

ykakande@thenational.ae