Ward 16 at Al Wasl Hospital - Dubai's maternity hospital - is now believed to be home to 18 abandoned children.
"The abandoned children at Al Wasl Hospital's Ward 16 are too many to handle," said an official from the Department of Health and Medical Services (Dohms), who declined to be identified.
The official said the ward is ill-equipped to handle so many children with just two social workers and a handful of volunteers. According to him, the hospital presently has 11 boys and seven girls, ranging from one month to three years in age, under its roof.
"While we were handling three to four children at a time in the past we are not in a position to supply manpower and provide the resources to handle 18 children," said the official.
Such cases of abandoned children in the emirate of Dubai are handled initially by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) which attempts to locate the parents, until which time the child is kept at the hospital. The hospital provides food and shelter for these abandoned children.
"This is not the right atmosphere for them to grow and be nurtured. They are confined in a hospital and it is a risk every time we take them out of the hospital confinement to play or enjoy the outside world," said the official, adding: "When one child becomes ill, all other children are also at risk due to such confined quarters."
Editor's note: A hospital official said you have to be an Emirati from Dubai, not any other emirate. You must be married for more than 15 years. You must have a legitimate medical reason for not being able to have children.
Write a letter addressed to the Director General of Department of Health and Medical Services in Dubai, Qadi Saaed Al Muroushid, stating why you wish to adopt and give it to Badriya Yousuf or Nahid at Al Wasl Hospital.
A screening process will start from there. If you don't meet the requirements, women can volunteer to be caregivers and help play with, feed, change and bathe the children, whatever needs doing, as the hospital is short-staffed.
Fill in the relevant forms and provide a passport copy. Once that is processed you will be given a pass to the ward.