It is the dream of all married couples to have a baby of their own. To see the little one grow under their protection, to be there when he or she comes across a barrier in life and to witness each success will bring immense happiness that cannot be measured.
However not all of us can conceive a child due to various medical conditions. Yet, this limitation should not come in the way of having our dream come true.
Under the adoption act of Sri Lanka a married couple can adopt a child anytime they wish.
Read the rules the Registrar’s General Department states on adoption of a child.
But what are the requirements that should be fulfilled to adopt a child? What should an adopting parent do? Can a couple chose the child they wish to adopt? There could be numerous questions popping into your mind regarding this subject.
Unfortunately the information you are seeking is not freely available online. Therefore following several requests made by our readers the BabySpace paid a visit to the Department and Child Care Services of Sri Lanka to seek answers to all those questions.
Firstly it is important that you understand your needs, communicate with your partner and come to a mutual agreement regarding this step that is going to transform both your lives. Explore all areas of concern; pay your family obstetrician a visit to see if you have a chance of conceiving a child.
If the chances are stale and you are ready to adopt a child you can start by making a written request to the Probation Department and Child Care Services (the address is given below).
“Adopting parents should be 60 years and below. This criterion is essential because we ensure that the parents are ready and able to bring up a child. If it is a young married couple we request for medical reports from a doctor to see if they really cannot conceive a baby,” said an official at the department.
She said that in case the couple can make a child their request can be rejected. In addition to this parents who already have a child will not be eligible to adopt one, unless in special and isolated occasions.
Following this the couple should declare their income to the department to show that they are in a position to bring up a child. The income should be sufficient to provide the adopted child education, medical requirements and other needs.
To ensure that the details provided are in fact the truth and to guarantee that the adopting couple can look after a child a probation officer will be sent to their area of residence.
“This officer will obtain all details regarding the family. They will question the neighbors and other government officers in the area to obtain a clear picture regarding them. This is done to make sure that the child we provide will have a good home to grow in,” the official added.
If the information gathered by the probation officer is positive the couple will be called for an interview and provided with a license to adopt a child of their liking. This license is valid for a period of three years. The child should be adopted within this time period.
A name list and other details of children available for adoption will be provided to the couple. The children are generally 12 years and below. They can select a child, obtain his or her medical details and even have a meeting to understand if both parties are ready to be a family.
Then the department will have a second interview where they will give marks to the new family-to-be. If you pass this you can build your dream life from henceforth.
Of course it is not a simple decision to make and an easy procedure to follow to adopt a child. But there are hundreds of couples requesting children from the department and thousands of families in Sri Lanka where married couples have brought up an adopted child.
In addition to this there are a number of homes where children who are given for adoption are boarded in. One such place is The Salvation Army in Sri Lanka which was introduced to the country by Captain William Gladwin in 1883. It is a registered evangelical church that mainly focuses on social work. Their children can be adopted by foreign parents too.
The Salvation Army has children for adoption from the age of three months to five years. According to Major Soma Wedage, a compassionate member of the organization there are babies who are less than two months too.
She said that the children there are generally orphaned by birth, children of unmarried mothers or of couples who are willing to give their child to a good and supportive family. In addition to this the couple who is to adopt a child should be below 50 years in age and having a substantial income to provide to the needs of the baby adopted.
She explained that a child needs to be adopted according to the Sri Lanka law legally and this also applies for international law as well.
If this article did not answer your questions regarding the subject feel free to leave a comment and we will answer it directly.
You can also visit the Department of Probation and Child Care Services in Sir Chittampalam A Gardiner Mawatha, Colombo for more information, or find out more from their website http://www.childwomenmin.gov.lk/English