| 18 April, 2017

Abandoned girl in Oman placed with foster family

Childless couples interested in fostering a child are subjected to a detailed background check

Group of people holding hands together

Group of people holding hands together

Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017

Muscat: Three-year-old Dana, who was found abandoned at a public park in Buraimi province last year, has found a new home.

The girl was handed over to an Omani couple who had expressed interest in fostering the little girl, according to an informed official at the government-supervised Child Care Centre.

Hundreds of Omani families had applied to foster Dana but the decision was made following an extensive vetting process which is required by the rules of the Ministry of Social Development. Gulf News tried to reach the foster family for comment but they did not return the calls.

Families interested in fostering a child must apply through the Directorate of Family Development at the Ministry of Social Development.

They are subjected to a detailed background check where investigators look into a variety of factors like social, housing, economic and medical, to ensure the child is in the best care.

By law, only childless Omani families are allowed to foster a child.

Currently, 130 abandoned children are being housed in child care centres nationwide.

Since the government began the centre, at least 192 abandoned children have been placed with Omani families.

Last year, an Omani woman called the police, alerting them about an abandoned girl in a park.

She was questioned by police who discovered that she had directions to do so by an Omani man who was believed to be Dana’s father at the time.

The man told police that his girlfriend, a Saudi national, left the baby with him and went to live in the UAE. Authorities have been unable to get any information about the woman’s whereabouts.

Authorities conducted DNA tests to determine if the man was indeed Dana’s father, but never publicised the results.

He was releasefd on a 1,000 riyal bail and wasn’t charged.

Abandoning children is a criminal offence in Oman and parents can face up to two years in jail.

After Dana was abaondoned last year, her picture went viral on social media and many people rushed to donate toys, food and clothes to the little girl.

The Omani government provides abandoned and orphaned children with free education and jobs one they graduate.

In Islam, the concept of adoption is different than how most westerners understand the concept.

While families are encouraged to foster needy children, the children do not take the last name of the foster family.

Gulf News Report

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