Safia and Idris are a Muslim family
Safia* and Idris* adopted Malik* when he was 18 months old. Malik, now 5, is very close to Safia and Idris’s birth child, Lubna*, who is now 11. The couple had always wanted a second child and chose to adopt following a few years of unsuccessful fertility treatment.
Safia and Idris are both Muslims and from a large family. This suits Malik who has five siblings in his birth family. Safia has helped him to keep in touch with his brothers and sisters, some of whom understand their Muslim heritage and some who have been brought up without any education about their Muslim traditions.
Originally Safia (who is Pakistani) and Idris (who has a mixed Irish and Egyptian heritage) had thought about adopting from overseas but when they found out that so many children in the UK are waiting for a family, they wanted to adopt domestically. Safia was very pleased with the service they received from the team at PACT. She stays in regular contact with her social worker Jacqui.
According to Safia, “Jacqui was really experienced and efficient when it came to ‘matching’ Idris and I with a child to adopt. She already had suggestions for us when we were approved in December and then in January she pointed out Malik in an adoption magazine. I immediately warmed to him and knew that he was the boy for our family. He even looked like us; it was a real gut instinct. We had a meeting in February with his social workers and met him in April when he came to live with us. The adoption was completed in December when the formal adoption order was granted.”
There were some initial challenges for Malik and Safia when he first came to live with them. Malik was extremely unsettled but quickly formed a bond with Idris. However Idris returned to work after a few weeks, so Safia followed the advice about encouraging bonding from the adoption preparation groups run for all prospective adoptive parents. She explains,
“Simple things like eye contact, playing with him when he was having his nappy changed and taking him swimming where he would have to hold on to me, helped us to develop a close relationship. After a week Malik relaxed and settled down, and I felt the strength of my feelings for him, I was inseparable from him.”
Safia and Idris are very open about their religion and their backgrounds. The Muslim religion shares the morals of most mainstream religions but they are glad that they chose to adopt a Muslim child who could share their culture and customs and share that heritage. Malik is equipped with the knowledge and teaching of the religion he was born into something he can share with his adopted and birth family.