They say children bring happiness into your lives and we couldn’t agree more. The feeling is synonyms to Indian expat Rima B who has disclosed her feelings at the onset of their daughter’s footsteps into their lives.
“I walked into the room and a tiny four-month-old baby was put into my arms. I can’t tell you why, but I cried. My mother saw me and cried too,” says Indian expat Rima B, as quoted by the Gulf News.
Thirteen years passed, since then, Rima and her husband have adopted another child from India as well.
It all began with the couple failing to conceive for seven long years. When all hopes were about to go they decided to go for adoption. “It wasn’t smooth because being a non-resident Indian, adopting a child is not easy – it’s a long wait and the process is complicated; being in India and adopting a child,” says Rima, who’s a teacher by profession.
“So for our first child, we went to a centre in Kolkata 13 years ago and we came to know we have to approach a lady called Omana Menon, who was the official Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency representative in the UAE,” she remembers.
“So we contacted her and did a home study, and after that, we had to go through a long process that included a medical check-up; we had to prove that we are medically fit; we had to prove our age – because the combined age of the couple has to be below 90. If it is about 90, the adoption will not take place. Then, from school, I had to give a salary certificate and my husband’s job. Then we also had to get a No Objection Certificate from the police… People were really supportive here…we went to the police station in Deira and told them why we needed the document, we didn’t have to wait for even one hour for it.” The waiting period began soon after all the formalities were done.
“For the first child, I had to wait for a year [for the paperwork], for the second one, it was more than that,” Rima recollects. It was during the summer holidays when she met her first daughter in India.
“We were having lunch and we got a call from a centre and they said, ‘There is one child, but she is not of your complexion’. But at that point complexion was the last thing on our minds. Immediately my husband, mum, cousin and I went to the centre and she was put into my arms. She was smiling so brightly,” she continued with teary eyes.
Rima added, “We took our baby home. Because the paperwork wouldn’t be processed for four months, plus we needed to get the judge’s approval, I decided to stay back there along with the baby.”
Rima quit her job and stayed with her daughter till they got the judge’s approval.
But the wait was worthwhile. She remembers the day when the judge called them for an interview. “The judge called us and took an interview – he asked us why we wanted a child. After that, the judge gave the order for the birth certificate, the passport to be processed. And in December we came back to Dubai.”
After a few years, they decided to adopt again. She recalls the adoption process had changed a little. This time they had to apply online to the CARA (Central Adoption Resource Authority).
“They sent us two pictures and told us you have to choose from these pictures within 48 hours or you go back into the long waiting list. We chose her and the process started – then they called us to India and we had to do the medical tests, etc. – and again we had to approach Menon. The process started again – this time it was almost one-and-a-half years before we got our baby home,” she shared.
Rima is now mom to two girls and so far she regrets only one thing, “Why did we not adopt sooner?”
Her kids are aware of them being adopted. “They know they have been adopted and loved by their family. The older one used to question me a lot. At the Indian centre they had told us that before the child turns five, you should tell them. And they gave us some tips – like using parables. I followed those lessons. And it became clear to the older one when we got her sister as well,” added she.
Rima believes adopting kids isn’t something out of the ordinary. “Those who can have biological children and adopt – they do something great – for me, adopting was a necessity,” she says.
Am I eligible to adopt?
Eligibility criteria for prospective adoptive parents as per the CARA website.
- The prospective adoptive parents shall be physically, mentally and emotionally stable, financially capable and shall not have any life-threatening medical condition.
- Any prospective adoptive parents, irrespective of marital status and whether or not has biological son or daughter, can adopt a child subject to the following, namely:
The consent of both the spouses for the adoption shall be required, in case of a married couple; A single female can adopt a child of any gender; A single male shall not be eligible to adopt a girl child;
- No child shall be given in adoption to a couple unless they have at least two years of a stable marital relationship.
The age of prospective adoptive parents, as on the date of registration, shall be counted for deciding the eligibility and the eligibility of prospective adoptive parents to apply for children of different age groups shall be as under:-
Age of the child
|Maximum composite age of prospective parents (couple)||
Maximum age of prospective parent (single)
≤ 4 years
|90 years||45 years|
4 ≤ 8 years
8 ≤ 18 years
- In the case of a couple, the composite age of the prospective adoptive parents shall be counted.
- The minimum age difference between the child and either of the prospective adoptive parents shall not be less than 25 years.
- The age criteria for prospective adoptive parents shall not be applicable in the case of relative adoptions and adoption by step-parent.
- Couples with three or more children shall not be considered for adoption except in case of children of determination, as defined in sub-regulation (21) of regulation 2, hard to place children as mentioned in regulation 50 and in case of relative adoption and adoption by step-parent.
With inputs from Gulf News