Adoption guide for British Expats in Dubai

Adoption guide for British Expats in Dubai

Family Law – UAE and UK

Contrary to beliefs that you cannot adopt whilst in Dubai (because Sharia does not recognise or enforce adoption), many expat couples and single parents have successfully adopted children from other countries.  Although expatriates may not adopt children from within the UAE, they can do so from overseas.

For British Expats, you will need to contact the British Embassy for advice on the adoption Laws in the UK.  If you are not British, you should seek advice from your respective Embassy.  You will need to receive independent legal advice on and sign a Statutory Declaration confirming that you are no longer habitually resident in the United Kingdom.  We are able to provide advice and prepare the Statutory Declaration for you to sign and to provide to the British Embassy.  You will then need to book an appointment with the British Embassy for you to submit the Declaration and collect an NOC to proceed with the adoption. 

As with all countries, a home study would need to be undertaken and we can provide you with the relevant details of whom to approach in Dubai to assist with this.  Whilst undertaking the home study, you will be required to swear documents including the statement of suitability.  We are able to swear documents and certify true copies of most documents.  You should however ensure that you have a checklist of documents required and verify whether the documents need to be attested or notarised. We can attest documents but are unable to notarise documents however can point you in the right direction if this need arises, please contact us for more details on adopting a child in Dubai.

Adoption Process 

The adoption process for each country varies and you should ensure that you have all the information to assist you with the process in the country of adoption.  You can either undertake the process yourself or hire an agency to take you through the steps. It is strongly recommended that you choose the country carefully after doing all your research and also use a reputable agency who is known for their work.

Once a match has been made with the child, you should be aware that the adoption process involves the Court in the country of adoption and therefore could take a number of months to complete.  Once the adoption has been granted and you have received the relevant paperwork, you will need to arrange to be given your child’s passport and if they do not have one, to apply for a travel document to take them out of the country. 

You will need to initially bring your child into Dubai on a visit visa whilst you arrange for his/her Residency Permit.  If you are from the UK, you should also apply for British Citizenship to have the adoption recognised in the UK.  We are able to assist with this stage.  If you are not from the UK, you will need to apply for citizenship / passport from your country.    

Tip: If you are looking to adopt, you could benefit from joining the Adoption Support Group in Dubai, so you can meet and speak to people who are in a similar position and are at various stages of the process. 

If you require any assistance with the matters raised above, please do contact Dee or call us at +971 4­ 3317552.

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