Adoption in UAE
The term “adoption” has been derived from the Latin word “adopter” which means choosing someone as your son or daughter, even though you are not biologically related to him/her. Given the changing lifestyle and progressive mindset, the concept of adoption has become quite common across the globe in the last few decades, and UAE is not an exception to it.
The adoption is a legal procedure that gives exclusive rights and responsibilities over the child to the adoptive parents. The biological parents lose all their legal ties, and the child is presumed to integrate into a new world.
UAE Adoption Law
Though Islam doesn’t not recognise adoption, but the caring or sponsoring of a orphan or abandoned child is allowed. The adopted child carries the name of his/her biological father.
Adoptions for Expats
In the UAE, there is a well structured mechanism regarding the adoption by the expats who are the residents of the country. Though a child can’t be adopted in the jurisdiction of the UAE, the expats are allowed to undertake this process outside the UAE as per the laws of their local countries. Adoptions that are carried out abroad are very much valid in the UAE.
As per Article 2(e) of Federal Law 10 of 1975, when the adopted child is brought in the UAE, it will have equal rights like a biological child. For instance – If a child is adopted in the UK and brought to the UAE thereafter, he will not only be protected under the UAE law but he will also receive residency sponsorship for being the legal offspring of a UAE resident.
Process of Adoption
- At the outset, the interested parents should visit a lawyer to understand the relevant adoption laws in the country. This step will help the parents to make necessary arrangements relating to the residency of the adoptive child beforehand.
- After that, a home study will be conducted by the local authorities, which includes a psychological test. The object of this test is to ensure that the adoptive parents have a stable mental health. Since this process involves weekly therapy sessions, it can be stretched up to 10 weeks. These sessions assist the parents to make a conducive environment for the adoptive child.
- After this process is completed, the interested parents should deposit the necessary documents (identity proof, visa, bank statement, income proof, etc). After the submission, a hearing date is fixed and exit documentation is obtained.
- When the adoptive child is brought to the UAE, a residency application will be submitted including an application in the home country of the parent(s) for citizenship.
- Even after adoption, the parents need to send regular reports to the child’s home country, until he/she reaches the age of 18 years
Conditions for child Adoption in UAE
The general conditions which are applicable to the child adoption is as follows:
- The age of interested parents should be more than 25 years. In the case of a single mother, it needs to be 30 years or more.
- The foster family or a single mother must be financially capable of upbringing the child and supporting the family.
- Foster family of a single mother must not not be infected with any infectious disease.
- The family needs to demonstrate with adequate proof that their conduct is Bonafide in the past.
- A single mother must be willing to foster a child.
The legal framework regarding adoption is slightly complex in the UAE. For an expat, it is highly recommended to contact a legal attorney to sail through this process smoothly.