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How Expats Can Adopt a Child in UAE

Adopting a child in UAE involves taking over all the daily care and the upbringing of an adopted child. To start the process of adoption in UAE, there is a need for the adopting parents to undergo assessment on whether or not they are suitable and ready to be parents of an orphan. 

There aren’t any government-accredited adoption facilities in United Arab Emirates (UAE), and UAE citizens are also not allowed in adopting children under Sharia law. Although they’re not allowed in adopting, citizens or nationals of the UAE are encouraged in taking care of orphans and poor, needy children. Residents or expatriates in UAE, on the other hand, can legally adopt children, based on the adoption legislation of their home countries. 

What’s the process for adopting a child in UAE? 

If your home country’s legislation allows for child adoption, then the general steps involved in the process are as follows: 

  1.  Select the kind of adoption right for you  

As the adopting parent, you’d be the one to decide on the kind of program for child adoption that’s right for your and the rest of the family. Each adoption opportunity is different or unique in its own. It’s important for the whole family to understand the reason why a child is adopted. 

Adoption programs that you may have to choose from include open or closed adoption, foster care or private adoption, adopting an older child or a newborn baby, and local or international adoption. 

  • Find out the costs in your home country to adopt a child

As soon as you decide the kind of adoption program that you want to pursue, it’s important that you obtain a more solid understanding with the costs that are involved with the process. Standard fees for child adoption in UAE include but aren’t limited to fees of adoption professionals, home study costs, legal expenses, and travel costs. 

  • Consult with a legal professional 

When you are choosing the right legal professional to help you getting custody of a child in UAE, you have to know that not all law firms in Dubai or anywhere in UAE provide the same exact legal services. Some handle the whole adoption process while helping you through each step of the way. There are others that will only handle some parts of it. It’s crucial that you ask the legal professional you’re vetting him or her in order for you to get an accurate layout or picture of the costs that are associated in working with them. 

You should read more How to get child custody?

  • Consider working with an adoption professional

If you have not found a child to adopt yet, you can hire an adoption professional to help you with your adoption journey. An adoption professional will help you in creating the adoption plan and match you with the child that is best for your entire family’s needs and lifestyle. 

  • Go through a home study 

Adopting parents are to go through a home study to adopt children. A home study is performed by someone who is certified or licensed, which is often a social worker, depending on the country. The purpose of a home study is to properly educate and prepare the adopting parents. 

A home study will also evaluate adopting parents’ ability to give a child a suitable home. This particular step of the process of adoption in UAE involves a social worker gathering information thoroughly about the potential parents through house visits, interviews with the family members, and making sure the adopting parents are going to offer a safe and healthy environment for a child. The questions that will be asked will pertain to education, relationships, employment, prior parenting experiences, finances, and family background of the adopting family.

  • Make certain home preparations

If you’ve hired a law firm in Dubai or anywhere in UAE to help you with the legal aspects of child adoption in the country, then you won’t have to worry about anything besides making home preparations. This is especially so if you’ve hired a child custody solicitors from a reputable law firms in Dubai, UAE. When making your home preparations, you are required to do everything that will make your adopted child’s new home a safe, comfortable, and welcoming environment.  

It’s also the best time to tell your close friends and family members that you’re adopting a child. It’s important that you and all those that you share the adoption with to understand there are certain differences with sharing the news and sharing news regarding a pregnancy. It’s advised for adopting parents to proceed with caution. This is because adopting a specific child isn’t always final until the last step.

  • Bring the child home

If you’re bringing a child home from a different country, you’ll have to complete a separate process with your embassy for processing the placement of the child. As soon as you have the child with you, a petition in your home country’s court will be submitted. All of the necessary legal forms have to be signed by all parties involved including the adoption center or birth parents of the adopted child. Proceedings for the finalization of the child adoption will be carried out, which may or may not provide permanent legal custody for an adopted child.

Remember that the process of child adoption in UAE for expats differs, depending on their respective home country’s legislation. For more information, call us here in HHS Lawyers today! 

M. Al Khairy, LL.B. is a Senior Partner of HHS Lawyers in UAE. Practicing law for almost a decade, he has in-depth knowledge on UAE legislation with particular expertise on legal drafting, contract drafting, labor disputes, family law, and regulatory compliance for business organizations. Al Khairy also provides counsel on legal rights and obligations in the UAE to clients, including individuals and businesses subject to investigation or prosecution under Criminal Law by major regulators. Read more