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22nd Feb 2023

Baby orphaned by Syrian earthquake adopted by her aunt and uncle

Sarah McKenna Barry

She will now be raised alongside her cousins.

A baby girl who lost her mother, father and siblings in the recent earthquake in Syria has been adopted by her aunt and uncle.

According to ABC News, baby Afraa was born under the rubble of the earthquake, which also destroyed her family’s home. She was found by rescuers 10 hours after the earthquake hit. She was still connected to her mother via the umbilical cord.

Following the tragedy, she was taken to hospital, where she had bumps and bruises and breathing difficultues. She was discharged earlier this month.

A DNA test was performed on the baby, and authorities were able to locate her relatives. Earlier this week, her aunt and uncle adopted her and gave her a name.

They called her Afraa, in honour of her late mother.

Her uncle, Khalil al-Sawadi, told the Associated Press that he makes no distinction between Afraa and his biological children. He also has four daughters and two sons.

He said: “She is one of my children now. I will not differentiate between her and my children.”

Until her family was found, Afraa was being cared for by a paediatrician in the hospital. After her story was publicised, the hospital was inundated with requests from people looking to adopt her, but the staff prioritised finding her relatives first.

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