A newborn baby was found abandoned near a mosque recently in Rustaq province, 150 kilometres away from Muscat. The baby girl, believed to be no more than one day old, was spotted by residents of Say village last week. It is believed that couples abandon these children, who might be born out of wedlock, for fear of legal persecution as sex out of wedlock is against the law in Oman.
Most unwanted children are found abandoned near mosques, hospitals and Al Khoud centre. Abandoned children are cared for at Al Khoud Child Care Centre until they are placed with foster families. Omani authorities give them names, birth certificates and citizenship documents, and intensively pre-screen Omani families interested in adopting the children, according to an official at the Ministry of Social Development.