Orphanages in Morocco

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Some of the volunteers from our home base have been volunteering at a local orphanage. Today I learnt a few things about the system in Morocco.

For starters, most of the kids in the orphanages are boys. This is surprising to learn since it is usually more girls than boys that end up in orphanages in every other country that I have come across. For instance the Mother Teresa’s home in India had 99 girls for every 1 boy as boys get adopted quickly and girls are abandoned by families. The reason in India for this behavior is that a boy is seen as an asset, sort of insurance in old age; whereas a girl is seen as a burden since she would consumer resources for her wedding and then would go off to take care of her in-laws family.

Here in Morocco, people believe that a girl is more affectionate and better caretakers of their families. Parents feel that their daughters would be more reliable than a son, who would probably be more involved with his wife and family, than take care of his parents. More and more women in Morocco earn a living these days. 25% of doctors, lawyers and government administrators are women. The average age of a woman getting married is 29 years old. All these statistics prove that the value of a girl is clearly increasing in this African country.

A second reason cited for the large number of boys in orphanages is that when women get pregnant illicitly and want to get rid of a baby, often times the gender is a factor in their decision. Women feel more comfortable abandoning a baby boy thinking that he would be better able to fend for himself. You will never find a street-girl or homeless girls here. A girl is more prone to exploitation, therefore less likely to be abandoned. Also, some of these women fear that if they kept their baby boy born out of wedlock, he may grow up to attack his mother or take revenge in some form.

The process of adopting a Moroccan baby is fairly simple, whether you are a citizen of Morocco or a foreigner. You must be a Muslim or convert to a Muslim before filing for adoption. Some of these children have living parents who are unable to care for them. In that case, you can gain custody of a child and bring him or her up like your own but would need to keep the family name. Only a couple or a single woman can adopt, single men cannot. The process takes about six months. Currently, most of the children are being adopted by people in Morocco and Spain. The social workers keep a check on the kids and finalize the adoption only after two years of monitoring.

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Sucheta Rawal

Sucheta is an award winning food and travel writer, who has traveled to 70+ countries across 6 continents. She is also the founder and editor of ‘Go Eat Give’ and author of ‘Beato Goes To’ series of children’s books on travel.

18 thoughts on “Orphanages in Morocco

  1. hi there i am a 20 year old british citizen iving in casablanca morocco and i am just looking to volunteer some of my time to a local orphanage. Would you be able to help in any way.

    yours faithfully
    Samantha Essajdi

    1. The places I volunteered at were in Rabat, but I am sure if you search for orphanages in Casablanca, you will be able to find some that can use your help. I will let you know if I hear of any. Thanks!

  2. Salaam!

    My husband, a Moroccan citizen, and I are looking into adopting from Morocco. We have been researching through American adoption agencies, but would also like to learn about adopting directly through a Moroccan social worker. Would you happen to know how to go about finding more information?

    Thank you and please feel free to send me an email if you’d like.

  3. Dear all,

    I am Moroccan, and a MUSLIM, I would like to say, no matter what drove the mothers to abondon their babys to an orfanage at the first place, is that, having a baby out of the sacret relation of marriage is forbiden, not by culture, but by religion, and going back to any mother, who was ceduced by a crule man that abonded her after knowing the outcome of his actions, is one of the reasons that ISLAM DO NOT ALLOW ANY SEXUAL INTERCOSSE out of the SACRET RELATION OF MARRIAGE…just one of the raesons… I am sure many weman, MUSLIM or NOT MUSLIM can relate to the EMOTIONAL DAMAGE that a situation like this can cause to the woman her self her family her future her reputation….. and MORE ABONDANT, ANCARED FOR KIDS by there parents and the society….this is very SAD.
    Any person who would valenteer to spend some time @ any one of tis facilities or have the resorces and the willingness to ADOPT a chiled will have a great, actualy the word great do not discrib the rewords and the blessing this person will get from GOD !!

    Best Rgards To ALL,
    Hanane

  4. Hello,

    My husband and I were looking to adopt from Morocco and ready to start our homestudy process. We just came across this: http://adoption.state.gov/
    Moroccan Adoption Notice, and don’t know if we should pursue with Morocco , if they are even allowing adoptions to happen at this point. Does anyone have any updates or guidance they can offer?

    Sara

  5. Aslaamu Alaykum,

    Myself and my husband are also wanting to adopt from morocco directly without going through a uk adoption agency. Does anyone know we could contact?

    Thank you

  6. Hi.
    I ve great passion for adopting a child and after doing a little research, i finally now wanna adopt from Morocco, must i go thru the us embassy or something, i need a simply way to do that. pls any guide?

  7. I read or heard somewhere that an orphanage in Morocco whether a boy or girl can stay in the orphanage till the age of 26, is it true.

  8. Hello/Assalamu alakum
    God willing my children and I will be in Morocco from next week (July)
    We plan to visit thd five main cities and want to film orphans and women’s groups so we come
    back to fundraise. If anyone has contacts pls email me at writeanisa@hotmail.com
    Thank you.

  9. My husband is moroccan and i am a british citizen. We cirre tly live in gibraltar and would like to start process of adoption.
    Could you give me details as to procedure and orphans in marrakesh which i will be going to first week in december.

  10. Hi, I live in the UK and would like to make a donation to an orphanage in Rabat, Morocco but I can’t seem to find a way to make a donation online. I would be grateful for any advice

    1. Salaams Anisa. We are from South Africa as well and looking to Adopt from Morocco.
      Have u had any luck in finding out and agency in Morocco that we can deal with please. tx shabzm@gmail.com

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