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Wednesday March 25, 2009

A home for an orphan

IS AN orphanage a permanent home for orphans or is it a transit home for the children while waiting to be adopted?

“Well in Malaysia, the general perception of the society is that an orphanage is an institution for orphans.

“Most people believe that orphanages provide a permanent home for the orphans until they reach the age of adulthood.

“People may come to give donations to the orphanage yet adoption of the children is almost unheard of and this has to change, as every child needs a family,” Pertubuhan Kebajikan dan Pengurusan Anak-Anak Yatim Kuala Lumpur (OrphanCare) president Adnan Tahir said.

He said OrphanCare had approached several orphanages in an attempt get a home for the children but most homes were reluctant to let go of the children.

He added that although there were a lot of families who were willing to adopt the children, most of them could not do so due to various reasons.

The long waiting period and red tape were some of the reasons and many even resort to illegal adoption as it is much easier to make an agreement between two willing parties than going through the legal process of adoption.

However, he added that illegal adoption came with its own set of issues.

He explained that OrphanCare was formed to help the adoption process of orphans.

There are two ways to register an adoption in the country — one is through registration at the Registration Department (Jabatan Pendaftaran) and the other is through the court.

Usually couples have to wait for about two years before they could welcome the adopted child into their home.

Adnan said the role of OrphanCare was to expedite and coordinate the adoption process where abandoned and orphaned babies were quickly matched up and placed with suitable parents.

“We aim to compile a database of Malaysian orphans and interested families to match the adoption.

Adnan said their association was a one-stop non-profit organisation aimed at giving every orphan and abandoned babies a loving family, coordinating and working with the government in the adoption process.

He said they would be working closely with the Women, family and Community Development Ministry, Welfare Department and other government departments and NGOs during the process.

“Our team of volunteers comprising professionals, including lawyers, child psychologists and counsellors are here to provide advice and assistance to all parties involved.

To kick start their activity and services, OrphanCare will hold a charity dinner at the KL Convention Centre on April 25. The event will also see the official launching of the organisation and will be attended by the Sultanah Kamsom of Pahang.

The dinner will be held at 8pm at the KLCC Grand Ballroom.

“We are raising funds to kick start the organisation so we welcome contributions for the dinner tables or they can take up advertisement space in our souvenir book,” Adnan said.

At the same time, the organisation welcomes anyone who could help by becoming prospective parents, donating to OrphanCare, being a volunteer or informing the organisation of any unwanted babies that are available for adoption.

Pertubuhan Kebajikan dan Pengurusan Anak-Anak Yatim, Kuala Lumpur (OrphanCare) is located at A-2-6, 60 Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur or contact 03-6201 7015 or visit them at www.orphancare.org.my

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