Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Right Stuff

I took a quick look at the 10 am appointment in my travel clinic. An empty chart except for one note by my assistant, "Going to Haiti, needs necessary vaccines and medications, booked his appointment urgently, Ok'ed by you"
The man arrived 30 minutes before his appointment. He filled the travel form. Clearly, my first question was, "Why are you going there ?

"We adopted a kid from Haiti, and after the earthquake we haven't heard anything about her. I will go there to look for her."

"For how long are you staying?"
"Not sure, at least 3 weeks, probably longer. It's OK to give me lots of medications, if I have extra I'll give them to people there"

And so I did. The man was my age, but he looked twice as old despite having no medical problems. It was evident that he had a very rough week. I told him about all the risks of going there. I gave him the printed travel warnings emailed to me from different agencies and he told me he understood all the risks. He wasn't referring to the girl as a poor girl who needed help. He was referring to her as his own daughter who went missing after a tragic earthquake.

People in Jordan are largely against adoption. Not only that, it's also illegal. Most Jordanians who are against adoption are people who never adopted (and obviously will never adopt), who don't have any family member who adopted children, never even met anyone who adopted anyone else and never knew and will never get to know any adopted person.

Yes, adoption is not for everyone. There are a lot of things that can go wrong along the way. Not all couples should be allowed to adopt. In fact, the majority of couples are not capable of adopting, let alone have their own children. But for the right couple, and there's a lot of them, adoption is a great gift both for them and for the poor kids who probably have no future other than engaging in civil wars and succumbing to disease and ignorance. A lot of these kids live in Jordan and other Arab countries, and they are not happy and will never be happy.

If you don't feel it's good for you, try at least to change the foreseen future of these kids and there are a lot of ways to do so, and please, don't stand as an obstacle to people who can adopt and save the life of another child. It's more precious that you can imagine.


Mala2e6 said...

يحيرني التشابه الشديد بافكارنا
مرات صراحة بشك انك انا

لولا فارق التوقيت

عنا مثل عربي الكل ماشي عليه

يا مربي غير ولدك يا زارع غير ارضك

بس انا بعرف ناس هون تبنوا اطفال و هلا صارو صبايا و شباب

متل ما قلت
لازم قلب كبير كتير

subzero said...

R u sure he wasnt only looking for drugs?

Sataney said...

Hi there...
I follow your blog but this is my first time to comment :-)
I am Circassian, actually. And inside our community, it is usually not good for a man to get married for the second time, or divorce his wife, because she cannot have babies. Not that it is forbidden, but it is considered very disrespectful.

Therefore, alot of coupls adopt children when they are told that they medically cannot have children of their own.

I know a number of families who have adopted children :-)

And they do the necessary steps tp make it "legal" and coincides with the Shariaa laws :-) And yes, they raise them as their own children, and they transfer the ownership of their property to their adopted children exactly as if they will inherit them!

So it's not impossible! It just needs a warm heart and the desire to do... It's a perfect solution for those couples who cannot have children...

ola said...

Who siad it's illegal? A while ago my friend told me that her cousin who'd been married for 10 years and couldn't have kids adopted a child via the social affairs or something like that. She said that there are many abandoned children who need someone to take care of them, in a way that doens't contradict law or Religion. But as you said, not everyone understands this. But, after all, what is blood and flesh compared to a strong bond of love and committment? I mean, if I discover now that my parents aren't really my biological parents, would that make me feel any different about them?

Hareega said...

Mala2e6: to be honest, 90% of Arab proverbs are bull, and the one you mentioned is one of them, yama fee naas rabbo wlaadhom o tel3o wladhom anwar kheleg alla

subzero, no, not sure, but parents who have used drugs are not allowed to adopt. However there's nothing that prevents drug addicts from having 10 kids

Sataney... thank you for commenting. What a great name lol. I agree with you what you're saying. I am not sure what methods do one need to do in order to adopt kids in Jordan. But I like the idea of not divorcing your wife because she can't get pregnant. Sounds too humiliating to me.

Ola. I know that "kafalet yateem" is allowed in Jordan although it doesn't look like it's encouraged. However I'm not aware that you can actually adopt a kid and give him your name an inheritance...etc. If you know it's legal please let me know. I'm not thinking of adoption, but it might be an option one day in the future.

Farah said...

As far as I know, it's legal to adopt but you have to be Muslim and the child cannot inherit your family name.

check this

Ola said...

I'm not sure whether it's allowed to give the child your name, because in Islam it's not. You can take him in, leave him whatever you want in your will (which is technically like an inheritance) but the child can only bear the name of his or her biological father, of course if the father isn't known there will be another arrangement. As for people from other faiths, I don't know if the law allows it or not...

kinzi said...

For Christians in Jordan, it is possible to have contacts in Egypt, Lebanon and Syria where unwanted children are passed off at birth and given birth certificates with the adoptive parents names as if birth parents.

Hareega, if you are ever interested, there are other ways, too.

I loved this post so much I posted about it, but couldn't get a link to work.

Love the Circassian way even more, too

Hareega said...

Farah.. thank you for the clarification!

Ola thank you for your input

Kinzi thank you for the details, I'm not considering it, but maybe one day I or other people I know will, and I'll ask you then!

Anonymous said...

How is adoption illegal in Jordan, where did you get this from? It's legal... it's just that you can't give your adopted child your family name.

Hareega said...

Can you really consider him your kid if you can't give him/her your name? YOUR kid without YOUR name...?

Anonymous said...

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

Yes I can. Our neighbours adopted a boy and a girl and they treated them as their own kids. The boy grew up and now owns a barber shop, and the girl got married.
we only called them by their first names so whatever their family name was it never made a difference to us.
And with regards to inheritance, they are allowed to have a third of it, or the father can sighn it off to the kids while he's alive