People around the world offer to adopt “miracle” baby born in Turkey earthquake rubble


People around the world are offering to adopt the baby girl who was born under the rubble of a collapsed building in Syria after Monday’s devastating earthquake. The massive quake and several powerful aftershocks have killed over 22,000 people, as of the latest tallies in both Syria and Turkey on Friday. 

When she was rescued, the baby, who has been named Aya, which means “miracle” in Arabic, was still connected to her mother by her umbilical cord. Video on social media showed the newborn surrounded by destroyed buildings in the freezing winter. In the clip, a man is seen sprinting out of the wreckage carrying the dust-covered baby before she was taken to a hospital.

Aya is the only member of her immediate family to have survived. Her mother, father and all four of her siblings were all killed when the quake hit the city of Jenderes, near Afrin.

Earthquake aftermath in Syria
Aya was rescued from underneath a destroyed house, with her umbilical cord still tied to her mother.

Anas Alkharboutli/picture alliance via Getty Images

Aya’s survival story has captivated people on social media, and by the end of the week offers were pouring in from people willing to adopt the little girl.

“I want to adopt this child. I’d give her a loving home. She’ll have two sets of grandparents and cousins of all ages. My family would be complete,” one Twitter user tweeted.

“I’d love to adopt this precious baby,” another user commented on TikTok. 

“I offer my love an undivided love,” another one commented.

Dr. Attiah, the manager of the hospital where Aya is being treated, said he had received dozens of calls from people all over the world wanting to adopt baby Aya, according to the BBC

“I won’t allow anyone to adopt her now. Until her distant family return, I’m treating her like one of my own,” Dr. Attiah, who has a daughter just four months older than Aya, told the BBC.

She is being breastfed by Attiah’s wife, alongside their own daughter, the BBC said.

Hani Marouf, the paediatrician looking after Aya, told the BBC that when she arrived on Monday, the girl was “in such a bad state, she had bumps, bruises, she was cold and barely breathing,” 

“Had the girl been left for an hour more, she would have died,” he said.

Aya was in stable condition and, according to The Associated Press, her father’s uncle, Salah al-Badran, was to take her once she was released from the hospital. Al-Badran and his family managed to escape their one-story building when the earthquake hit, but their home was destroyed. He and his household of 11 people are living in a tent, he told the AP.

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