x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

“Two to three years is a long time”: Indian UAE residents want faster adoption process

Indian UAE residents who are hoping to adopt from their home country are urging the authorities to speed up the process.

DUBAI // Kala Balan, 37, a Dubai resident, has been waiting to register to adopt a second child since 2012. When she adopted her first child in 2009, the entire process took her less than nine months.

With the decision to resume adoptions this week from overseas parents such as her, she is urging authorities to speed up the process so couples don’t shy away from adopting.

“When I adopted my first child, it was a smooth ride,” said Mrs Balan.

“After filing an application, it took me just about nine months. But after that Cara [the Central Adoption Resource Authority] changed the process.”

This time, her application has not yet been considered.

“When I was told it was going to start soon, I was definitely relieved. But my fingers are crossed on whether they will speed up the process.”

She said bureaucratic procedures and delays by family courts in India could force many couples to seek medical help to have a child.

“There are too many children who need a fantastic home and a lot of love and affection. Many parents are coming forward to adopt instead of going through complicated medical procedures. But, how long can one wait without knowing how things are going to shape up?

“Two to three years is a long time and things could change a lot within families. Many may turn to medical procedures and this way, you are reducing the chance for a child to get a good home.”

Mrs Balan said it was important for Cara to take measures so children are safeguarded.

“There are too many fraudulent agencies involved so I appreciate Cara’s view. But this is too much of a waiting period. They have to speed up the process. Credibility and transparency is necessary so parents understand what is happening.”

Many parents prefer not to disclose to their extended families or even their children that they have been adopted. However, Mrs Balan said she wanted her daughter, now 5, to know the truth.

“I tell her she has not come from my stomach, but from my husband and my heart. Every time I am in Bangalore, I take her to the agency where she was adopted from to meet other children there. She must know where she comes from. We don’t believe in hiding anything. We have a great family who support our decisions. So, why should you be scared?”

She hoped she would not have to wait any longer to bring home her second daughter.

“I will be happy if it all happens within six months. My primary motive is to adopt. My husband and I are fit to conceive but we only want to adopt. We believe that there are too many kids waiting to get a better home so, why have your own children?”

pkannan@thenational.ae