x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Abandoned Sharjah girl in good hands as she awaits her future

Little Amna who was found at a Sharjah hospital in the weekend is being cared for by the Sharjah Childcare Centre until her future is decided by the courts.

SHARJAH // Amna, the three-year-old girl found abandoned at Kuwait Hospital at the weekend, is settling in well with the other children at the Sharjah Childcare Centre, authorities say.

Amna has been given a clean bill of health and is being cared for by staff while her future is decided by the courts, said Fatima Al Marzooqi, the centre’s director.

“We are still waiting for the judge’s decision as the case is already with the courts,” Ms Al Marzooqi said. “It’s up to the judge to decide where she can spend her future.”

Amna was found crying and wandering around the hospital at midnight on January 26. A check-up revealed signs of beating and torture.

Police arrested her father at a resort in Fujairah and charged him with abandoning and torturing his daughter.

Ms Al Marzooqi said the little girl would need “psychological and social rehabilitation” before she could leave the centre for a temporary or permanent foster home.

“Staff have started to provide these rehabilitations and would follow up with any home she takes up in the future to ensure she gets a pleasant childhood like any other child,” she said.

Ms Al Marzooqi said only Emirati families could permanently foster a child in the UAE, and then only if they could provide a financially stable home environment.

A police good-conduct report was also necessary.

“We also consider the race of the adopting family,” she said. “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.”

Parents are also obliged to tell the child at an early age that they are not their natural children.

“The … family is required to tell the child at the age of six that he or she is an orphan, in a good way,” Ms Al Marzooqi said.

“They should tell them that many people are orphans but live well with other people, and that also our beloved Prophet was an orphan.”

Police said that during interrogation, Amna’s Arab father said he left his daughter at the hospital thinking someone would take care of her.

He said his first wife, who holds a foreign passport, refused to take care of his daughter and his other children.

Amna’s mother, an Ethiopian resident, had left the country under the current visa amnesty.

The little girl has no identification documents and could not travel with her.

ykakande@thenational.ae