This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

1,646 children adopted in Jordan since 1965 — Social Development Ministry

AMMAN — The Ministry of Social Development’s foster parenting programme, founded in 1965, has placed 1,225 children of unknown parentage with new families. The ministry’s “alternative care” programme, which was founded in 2012, has provided 421 children of known parentage with alternative temporary or permanent homes. 

Only couples who have been married for at least five years without having children of their own can apply for the “foster parenting” programme. The husband must be between the ages of 35 and 55 and the wife must be between the ages of 30 and 50. The family can apply for a second child after two years of adopting the first and they aren’t allowed to apply for a third, a statement from the ministry said. 

The statement also noted that the alternative care programme allows any married couple with or without children, as well as single mothers and unmarried women, to adopt children. 

Before the adoption is approved by the juvenile court, foster families in both programmes undergo training sessions and evaluations of their social, psychological, financial, legal and medical status to ensure that they have the ability to provide the adopted child with the needed care, the statement said.

Asma (not her real name), 33, felt that “the world was too small” to contain her emotions when she first met Ali in 2019, who was then a four-month-old baby in one of the Ministry of Social Development’s foster homes through the alternative care programme.

Asma’s decision to adopt wasn’t due to an inability to have children of her own, but because “all children deserve families that provide them with enough love and security to flourish”, she told The Jordan Times.

These programmes aim to “provide children in need of care and protection with the chance to live in an appropriate family environment to support their growth and development”, the ministry’s statement said. 

As per Sharia, (Islamic law), both programmes require that the child retains his or her original family name, or the one given by the state. 

According to a statement of the Iftaa Department made available to The Jordan Times, the term “adoption”, which entails changing the child’s family name to that of his adoptive parents and claiming him or her as their own, is prohibited in Islam. However, sponsoring or fostering a child is allowed and even “encouraged”.

Families are also made aware of the possibility of biological parents taking back their child if they apply for a reunion. In that case, a decision is made after the situation is evaluated by the juvenile court, which considers the best interest of the child, according to the ministry.

Moreover, Asma noted that the ministry advises parents to start the adoption conversation with their child early on. 

“Ali knows that he has two mothers as well as two fathers and I always tell him: ‘you didn’t come from my belly, but from my heart and I love you’,” she added.

Asma currently uses social media platforms to share her experiences, raise awareness, encourage people to ask questions and counter social stigmas and misconceptions linked to adoption. 

Sarah and Rami (not their real names), a married couple who can’t have children of their own, also spoke with The Jordan Times about their adoption experience.

Eight months after submitting an application, filling out tens of forms, sitting for multiple interviews and passing a home visit, they welcomed eight-month-old Ola into their lives in 2019.

“She brought in a whole new type of love into our life,” Sarah, who is a 35-year-old kindergarten teacher, told The Jordan Times about her first encounter with Ola.

Sarah also noted that she started the adoption conversation with Ola when she was one-and-a-half years old.

“She doesn’t quite understand what that means yet, but it’s a continuous conversation and the older she gets, the more questions she will have,” she said.

Sarah added that she doesn’t have a lot of answers to give Ola when she asks about her biological parents as the ministry keeps that information private.

According to the Social Development Ministry, after the adoption process is completed, regular and unannounced follow-up visits are conducted to ensure that the child is safe and that his or her needs are properly met. The ministry continues to follow the status of the adopted child until he or she is 18 years of age. If the adoptive family travels to a different country, this process is maintained through the Jordanian embassy there. 

Akef Maaytah, a Sharia lawyer, noted that the ministry’s follow-ups and strict standards for adoption aim to ensure that these children aren’t being abused or taken advantage of in any form.

“An adoptive family is legally obligated to meet the basic needs of the child, such as food, housing, education and medical care,” he told The Jordan Times.

He added that Islamic law doesn’t give adopted children the right to claim inheritance from their adoptive parents.

However, “the parents can register property or a bank account in their adopted child’s name during their lifetime or write a will, leaving him or her up to one-third of their estate,” Maaytah said.