124 abandoned children in Oman yet to find home

Business Saturday 20/February/2016 21:18 PM
By: Times News Service
124 abandoned children in Oman yet to find home

Muscat: One hundred and ninety abandoned children managed to find a home in 2015, while 124 children are still living in a child care centre, according to the Ministry of Social Development (MoSD).
“It is very encouraging to see that so many families are interested in adopting these children,” said a spokesperson of Child Affairs Department of the Ministry of Social Development, Oman.
Out of the 124 children who are staying in child care centre, 86 are males and 38 are females.
People abandon their ‘unwanted’ babies to escape punishment and imprisonment. Then there are cases where parents are dead or serving a prison sentence.
In August 2014, two children were found in the Qurum Natural Park during the Eid holidays.
The two siblings were later taken to the child care centre run by the Royal Oman Police (ROP) in Al Khoud.
“Most of the children are usually abandoned in public places so that they can be easily found like the Qurum case,” said Khalid Al Siyabi, who works for a charitable group that has been funding 65 orphans in Oman.
“Some are left in boxes near mosques or in hospitals. However, there are rare cases where children are abandoned as their parents can’t raise them due to financial crisis,” Al Siyabi said.
He also thinks this year’s austerity and economic hardship will not deter families in adopting these children. Islamic law prohibits having children outside wedlock.
In the country, law states that any child of unknown Omani parents found is eligible to get alternative child care services, and if any of the parents are in jail, the authorities will also temporarily look after the child until the parent is released.
Thorough investigations
The authorities conduct thorough investigations before giving these children to Omani families, who can look after them.
At times the families are paid between OMR80 and OMR180 for this. Before handing over any children, the MoSD makes sure that the family will take care of child.
In fact, people who raise an abandoned baby never tell others that the child was dumped by its parents. They raise the baby normally.
“We know some families who have taken care of an abandoned baby, but have never disclosed the matter to others as it is an ancient social taboo in Oman,” Al Siyabi said.
“Not every person is able to adopt an orphaned child, but everyone has the ability to support, fund and empower them,” Al Siyabi added, who has offered help to a number of orphans, suffering from poverty and negligence.
“Since 2012, we have been funding 65 orphans in Oman by providing OMR35 as monthly pocket money to each of them,” he added.

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