I am following up in newspapers with the news of the government social department actions to deal with the problem of abandoned babies. It seems that they are more open towards facilitating Jordanian married couples to take custody over those babies and provide them with family support. Custody is the acceptable way in an Islamic society where adoption is forbidden in Islam. As far as I know, you can raise a child as yours but can’t give him your name in order not to mess in races. So custody is the word for us in Jordan, and there are rules to regulate this process.
Yesterday 2/26, while reading Al Rai’s newspaper, an article caught my attention. The article was talking about child custody and single woman. While custody in Jordan can be granted to only married couples, the writer highlights the unfairness towards single women who never got a chance to get married and thus never had a baby of their own. A lot of spinster women dream to hear someone calling them ‘mama’ and we can make their dream come true by allowing them to get custody over those children.
I find introducing such topic in the most popular newspaper in Jordan and to the conservative society we have in Jordan some how daring. The idea of having single woman taking custody over abandoned children and raise them alone has never been introduced to be discussed to the Jordanian public. I rushed to read the writer’s name, and to my surprise, she turned to be Suhair’s Bushnaq, which seems to be focused on this issue, and whom I critisized in a previous post for her request of more restrictions on our domestic workers. My surprise was triggered because I didn’t expect that the woman who had no compassion towards other domestic workers women, can have this strong compassion towards spinster women who wish to have a baby for their own without getting married.
To be honest, Jordanian society is so traditional. A single parent family is something no one believe to be healthy. Both women and men are pressured hard to get married and stay in that marriage no matter what problems they may face. With current inflation of prices, and the continuous increase of life expenses that became unbearable to a large group of Jordanians, a lot of men find themselves forced to either postpone their marriage plans to a very late age, or cancel it all togather. Jordanian woman in the other hand, whom social constraints forbide them of proposing to men, and thus have to stay passive waiting for their chance to come to their door, are becoming more and more desperate to grab such chance where a groom is becoming a rare coin.
A lot of women in Jordan are raised with a mentality of not desiring a man, at least not in public, as a result they focus their dreams on having their own family and children. and thus finding themselves growing older as single, and being helpless about it, their dreams get shattered in front of them every single day.
I personally believe that a single parent is better than a no parent, and while Suhair encouraged courageously allowing single women to get custody of abandoned babies, I do encourage to expand it for single men as well who didnt get married for any reason. Ofcourse constraints to guraantee the sanity of the person and his/her behaviour should be applied with great care.