Parents stuck abroad waiting for visa to bring adopted son home to Whitechapel

Jibreel and his new mum Farzana

Jibreel and his new mum Farzana - Credit: Mikail Rahman

A couple stuck abroad during the Covid pandemic desperately want to return home to Whitechapel with their newly-adopted baby — but are having to wait for a visa to do so. 

Farzana and Mikail Rahman were approved for adoption but have to wait for Home Office clearance before they can return to east London with their 11-month-old boy Jibreel. 

Jibreel waits for his Home Office visa

Jibreel waits for his Home Office visa - Credit: Mikail Rahman

“We’ve been in Morocco for months since we were matched with Jibreel,” Farzana told the East London Advertiser

“He was born prematurely and we wanted to be with him as soon as possible. The orphanages do their best, but we wanted Jibreel to have the best possible start.” 

Mikail and Farzana outside the courthouse in Tangier with Jibreel after a judge granted them adoption

Mikail and Farzana outside the courthouse in Tangier with Jibreel after a judge granted them adoption - Credit: Rahman family

So Farzana, a radiologist, and lawyer husband Mikail, flew to Morocco on Christmas Day and managed to get a temporary custody order to take him out of the orphanage. 

“But we couldn’t leave the country,” she revealed. “It has been hard for anyone to come and see us due to Covid.  

“We have no family or friends here, stranded in a foreign country which has been tough at times."

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She said that they have followed protocols and have been approved by the UK government and Tower Hamlets Council to bring Jibreel back. 

"We just want to bring our son home," Farzana added.

The couple finally became Jibreel’s full guardians last month and now just need the visa to bring him home after eight months of caring for him. 

They have been “living month-to-month” in a Tangier apartment — but now just want to return to their home in Plumber’s Row, off Whitechapel Road. 

Happy baby Jibreel at playtime with his favourite toy

Happy baby Jibreel at playtime with his favourite toy - Credit: Mikail Rahman

“Adopting Jibreel is the best thing we ever did,” Farzana said.

“He is in excellent health and a really happy baby, always smiling when he wakes up from a nap, laughing a lot and very curious.”  

They were approved for adopting a child by UK authorities 18 months ago and then by Morocco earlier this year. 

Both countries have to confirm to each other to ensure Jibreel’s safety, a process normally taking a month or so — but Covid has contributed to further delays, Farzana revealed. 

The couple, who celebrate their 13th anniversary this month, are trying to get Jibreel’s visa to bring him home to east London “so he can meet his new family”. 

The Home Office has told the Advertiser that the visa is being processed. The "fast track" application was made July 29 which could mean being ready at the end of the month.