updated 10 Jun 2013, 17:13
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Wed, May 15, 2013
The Straits Times
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One bubbly 'princess'
by Theresa Tan

Simorrah Nadya Seow, seven, celebrates two birthdays.

The first marks the day she was born in Johor, the fifth child of a Malaysian hawker and his wife.

The second is the day Singaporean business owners Dominic and Yvonne Seow brought her home as their "little adopted princess".

The couple, both 47, had not wanted children at first. But after about a decade of marriage, Mrs Seow's maternal instincts got the better of her and she convinced her husband to adopt a child.

"I was not keen to go through the pain of childbirth and if I got pregnant with a boy, how? I wanted a girl as daughters are closer to their mums," she said.

They approached the Joyful Child Adoption agency run by Mr Francis Tan. He found them a baby girl soon after, but the Seows somehow did not take to the infant.

Simorrah was three months old when Mr Tan told them about her, and they decided to adopt the baby because as soon as they saw her they felt it was "fated, like we were waiting for her".

They wanted to stay in touch with the birth parents, but the Malaysian couple were not keen, telling Mr Tan they were ashamed that they could not afford to keep their baby. The Seows paid about $28,000 to adopt Simorrah.

The couple have been telling Simorrah stories about adoption for years now. "I don't believe in lying and it's just a matter of time before she finds out," said Mrs Seow.

Once in a while, Simorrah would ask about her birth parents.

After watching the animated movie Kung Fu Panda 2, in which the panda Po is adopted, she asked why she was given away and cried for three days.

Mr Seow said: "I told her her birth parents couldn't afford to have her and wanted her to have a better life. She understood."

Once, Mrs Seow asked Simorrah if she would want to live with her birth parents when she was older.

"Simorrah said 'not really', she wanted to live with us. But she wants to visit them and see what they look like."

Now in Primary 1, Simorrah is a natural performer and loves to sing and dance. The gregarious, articulate child has appeared in more than 30 productions, from advertisements to television programmes.

Simorrah said: "Not many people are adopted so I'm special. I'm not sad that I'm adopted as I know my parents love me."

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