x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

New home for baby abandoned in street

Baby boy found in box on the street has been adopted by an Emirati family.

SHARJAH // A baby boy found abandoned in Sharjah on Tuesday has been adopted by an Emirati family.

A passer-by discovered the crying baby, which was less than 10 days old, wrapped in a blanket in a box on a street in the Al Dhaid neighbourhood early in the morning. He was taken to Al Qassimi Hospital for medical checks.

A hospital spokesman said the Sharjah Department of Social Services had approved an application by a UAE national family to adopt the child.

"It is a local family, which is one of the major requirements to be allowed to take in a foster child," said the spokesman. "It is a respectable family which meets all other necessary requirements as set by the country's laws."

Naema Khamis Al Nakhi, a social worker at Al Qassimi Hospital, said: "When the baby arrived here we did all the tests we always do on an abandoned baby. He was in a good and stable condition so we opened up a file for him and got him an immunization and health card."

A police investigation to find the child's natural parents has already started, a police spokesman said.

Fatima Mousa, manager of the Abandoned Children's Unit of the Sharjah Social Care Homes Complex, said babies abandoned can only be adopted by Emirati families. They are given Emirati nationality and documentation.

The unit was founded in 2006 to establish a more co-ordinated approach to screening prospective foster parents, as well as a thorough following up process after children have been placed in new homes.

"There had earlier been instances where families simply adopted children without informing authorities such as the police, leading to problems in issuing proper documentation later in life," Ms Mousa said.

A number of babies have been abandoned in the Northern Emirates in recent years and police are occasionally successful in locating and apprehending the parents.

Last year, the parents of two babies left in a mosque in a Sharjah industrial area were arrested, while Ajman police also detained the parents of a baby girl found in a basket in 2009.

Two weeks ago a child was found abandoned in Sharjah's Abu Shagara area near a mosque.

ykakande@thenational.ae