x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

'The more chances we give these children, the better'

Hala Kazim's son can never have her family name but she says he is just as much her child as her four offspring.

ABU DHABI // Hala Kazim's son can never have her family name but she says he is just as much her child as her four offspring.

Mrs Kazim first met the one-year-old Asian boy 14 years ago at Al Wasl Hospital, renamed Latifa Hospital last month.

"I always dreamt of being able to change somebody's life," the 48-year-old Emirati mother said.

And after filling out paperwork, he was hers to take home.

"There was procedures but it was not difficult - just have to follow procedures," she said.

A law was passed last month easing the adoption process for Emiratis while protecting the children and parents who adopt. The law regulates who is fit to adopt and the rights to be given to the child, including full Emirati citizenship and a common Emirati name.

The law also states only couples over the age of 25 can adopt. Single women can adopt over the age of 30.

Families who adopt children will also be given financial help if needed, and receive regular visits from specialised social workers. Although she was not visited by a social worker, Mrs Kazim said support was necessary for many.

"I only received phone calls but visits would help families and the children, which is what we want," she said.

Despite suffering financial difficulties after her divorce from her first husband, she was able to stay on her feet and remarry. Mrs Kazim said she felt she had served as an example to others who wished to adopt.

"The more chances we give these children, the better," she said.

osalem@thenational.ae