It’s strange that as of 2016, only 1600 children are available for adoption in India while more than 7700 parents have applied for adoption through Central Adoption Resource (CARA), a designated nodal agency that coordinates the entire adoption process. Why am I surprised? Isn’t this good news that more and more couples are coming forward to adopt a child? Yet, the sad truth goes far beyond these figures and statistics. If you ask around, you will find that parents are quite desperate to have their own biological child rather than adopt one; adoption in India, is infact the last resource.
True Story Of Adoption In India
We spoke to Purnima from Gurugram, who adopted a baby girl nine years ago. Purnima had 3 unsuccessful IVF attempts and like other women in her shoes was quite frustrated at that point because nothing seemed to be working in her favour. As a couple, Purnima and her husband decided that they had had enough and now they should give up any further attempts towards IVF. Perhaps, having a baby through IVF was not for them. At this point, they decided to adopt a baby, but family members pressurized them to give it a final try and not give up so easily. Purnima recalls how her husband was disheartened that she was taking in so much physical pain for every IVF cycle. As a couple, they felt helpless as they had no other go. And because her in-laws insisted, Purnima agreed to give one final try…just once, not any more after that. And this time, she did conceive.
Good News At Last—Is It?
Imagine their happiness when the doctor confirmed that Purnima was pregnant with twins. She thanked her in-laws who had pushed her into it and followed all the advice and rested enough because this pregnancy was definitely precious. But God had other plans, perhaps, because, in just 5 months, she suffered a miscarriage. And that was it! Purnima recalls that though losing a child was traumatic, to say the least, she had made up her mind that she will not give up on her dreams of being a mother. On the fifth day after her miscarriage, the couple was on their way to the adoption centre to register for adoption. The desire to hold a child in her arms was so intense that Purnima did not wish to waste a single day. We all know the physical stress post a miscarriage, but Purnima refused to buckle under the weight.
Purnima’s Advice to Parents In Adoption
Purnima regrets that she wasted 10 years before she made the best choice of her life. Aastha filled their lives with happiness and brightness and Purnima’s only advice to parents struggling with infertility is not to spend too much time stressing out physically and mentally. Rather this energy can be channelized in caring for a new baby which is equally yours. “Aastha is a wonderful kid, who respects her elders and everyone at home is happy to have her around”, adds Purnima.
The only worry she has is, when and how she will disclose this secret to Aastha that they are not her biological parents. While this thought troubles her for a moment, she is quick to add that “Aastha is mature and intelligent and will surely understand her parents”.
If you understand the process of adoption in India, clear all the doubts, know how to manage or not manage extended family then adoption is a cake walk.
Why is the Decision to Adopt So Difficult?
Is It The Genes?
Though infertility is a huge problem that plagues India, conservative mindset prevents many parents to come forward to adopt. I remember a friend telling me that when she was at the same crossroads several years ago and suggested adoption to her husband, his answer was a firm no. “God knows whose child it, what is his/her genetic make-up. How can we just about adopt any child? I cannot love any other child as much as one that is biologically mine.” She was shocked that her husband could think so, who otherwise was very warm and caring. So, she confided in me that after several attempts she managed to get pregnant otherwise she would have been left without a child forever.
In another case, a friend’s mother was surprisingly against it saying that, “adoption in India doesn’t work well for our family.” Apparently, the mother’s cousin had adopted a girl who had ultimately committed suicide for entirely different reasons.
Is It The Society To Blame For All Hyper Behavior Around Adoption In India?
Many mothers recall similar stories in their families. In some cases, the husbands are strictly against it while in others the in-laws refuse to accept. Hence, today though statistics show otherwise if you look around and give a minute to think, you will be able to recollect the names of at least 2-3 of your acquaintances who are longing to be parents and yet are not ready to adopt. Most of the times, it is the society (again, sigh!) that prevents couples from opting for adoption. One worries too much about extended relatives (“what will they say?”) in India. In other cases, the adoption process is in itself the cause. It’s tedious and onerous to adopt a child. The procedures are lengthy and stringent and often frustrating, so many couples give up. Purnima was lucky because she had the best of both—a supportive family who accepted Aastha whole-heartedly and an adoption centre that did not delay the process much.
Here’s wishing luck to Purnima and her daughter and cheers to her family for taking such a big step. Let’s hope that more families come forward and move towards adoption. All it requires is some hand holding and awareness. Purnima is ready to offer any kind of help to parents with any related questions. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. She’s already counselled several parents and has been able to positively influence several of them. You could be the next one!
If adoption is in your mind but there are some doubts, do connect with our cousellor to design your way out of infertility.
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