Philanthropists donate 71% more to support orphans

May 15, 2021 - 17:36

TEHRAN – Iranian benefactors have made cash contributions amounting to 15 trillion rials (about $357 million at the official rate of 42,000 rials) to orphaned children over the last [Iranian calendar] year (March 2020 – March 2021), an increase of 71 percent year on year.

The Foundation currently covers 147,000 orphaned children and 260,000 children with families who cannot afford to bring them up on their own, IRNA quoted Alireza Asgarian, deputy director of Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation, as saying on Saturday.

“We anticipate that donations will increase by 100 percent this year and exceeds 25 trillion rials (about $595 million at the official rate of 42,000 rials),” he noted.

Over the past four months, 60,000 benefactors have been added to the whole supporters, he added.

He further called on the donors to join hands and support 200,000 of such children.

In May 2020, Seyyed Morteza Bakhtiari, head of Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation, said there were 710,265 active philanthropists in the country who support orphans.

Adoption for orphans 

There is a basic slogan in the country that children must grow in the family so that the priority is to foster the orphans.

Since [the Iranian calendar year] 1392, the number of adoption cases has increased and 2,000 children are placed for adoption annually, some of whom are placed under temporary custody because a temporary trustee is better than care centers, Masoudi-Farid said in May 2020.

Montazer Shabar, the Welfare Organization’s director for children affairs, said in July 2019 that there are 10 applicants for fostering each child in the country.

Currently, some 2,800 applicants are waiting for adoption, most of whom are parents not having children or intending to foster a child, he added.

According to the Welfare Organization, the country's adoption and foster laws that dated back to some 44 years ago were revised and modified in 2013. Within the new law, kids could be adopted up to the age of 16 while the former law states that kids aged 12 or less could be adopted. In addition to families with no child now families with one kid and single women are able to apply for adoption.

The law formerly authorized adoption only for orphans while the new law permit adoption for children with dysfunctional families as well in case the judge concludes that the new family is suitable for adoption.

Previously, the adoptive families were required to sign over one-third of their property to their child-to-be but some could not afford to do so and now the judge gets to decide how a family, depending on their financial status, should be treated.

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