(Persia Digest) – Various problems, including financial ones, have made marriage difficult in Iran; so much so that the median age for marriage in both girls and boys has risen in recent years. According to official statistics, there are currently over one million women over the age of 35 in Iran who have decided to remain single. Be that as it may, this has not prohibited their motherly feelings.

Changes in adoption laws have allowed them to become mothers without getting married. In accordance with the law of the Islamic Consultative Assembly in 2013, only three groups can adopt. First, a couple who do not have children; second, single women over the age of 30 who do not intend to get married; and third a couple who have children but want more.

Since 2013, single women with jobs and incomes have been able to adopt. The Director General for the affairs of children and young adults at the Welfare Organization of Iran, Mohammad Nafarieh, told Persia Digest: “According to the law, women who want to adopt must have the financial ability to do so and be able to provide for the child.”

To the question of what the single women’s income eligible to adopt must be, he answered: “We require a steady job and social insurance. We have no set figures of income. We have a committee who assesses the women who want to adopt and makes a decision.”

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When asked if women with incomes who still live with their families can also adopt, Nafarieh said: “Yes. Financially independent women who still live with their parents are eligible to adopt; because the important factor is the ability to provide for the child.”

He continued: “Presently, we have a ratio of seven or eight families to every child that needs adoption. Our priorities are financial abilities and the applicant’s level of education. Every family with a high level of education, culture, and income has the highest priority for child adoption.”

About the process of adoption, Nafarieh told Persia Digest: “First, a form must be filled and the applicant will be placed on a waiting list. Special tests will be taken, including for drugs, physical and mental health, background checks, a visit to the home, and the committee assessment. This will take anything between six months to two years, if not more, depending on the circumstances and priorities.”

Nafari added: “If single women who adopt a child decide to get married later, the couple will be scrutinized and they can continue to look after the child.”

He continued by saying: “Legally, we do not take the child away from the family or the single mother who is now married, unless they are unable to afford looking after the child and want to return them.”

When asked if it is the increasing number of single women that has led to ratifying this law, he said: “No, this law is to facilitate the adoption of children by the applicants. There is no shortage of applicants, but the law has been implemented since 2016, leading to an increase in the number of applicants.”

Nafarieh also stated: “Single men are not allowed to adopt, even if they want to adopt a male child.”

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