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Why should we care about Adoption

Adoption is a beautiful experience providing us with a unique opportunity to look beyond our own need or desire (to adopt) and connect with another human being with selfless love and compassion.

We believe that every child has a right to a loving and secure family. There are 60 million destitute children in India but the country clocks fewer than 4000 adoptions per year. We have a huge task ahead of us as members of the society in ensuring an enabling environment for legal and child centric adoptions.

That calls for putting adoption into our curriculum by the educators, developing inspiring content by the film makers, embracing Positive Adoption Language by the community, undertaking research in adoption by the scholars, offering tax incentives for adoptions by the Government, announcing child centric policies by the regulators, declaring adoption friendly policies by the employers and rendering professional services by the lawyers, doctors, counsellors, therapists engaged in the adoption cycle. Together as a community we need to build a positive identity in adoption for the child.

We need to start #ReimaginingAdoption

A parent is ready for adoption once he (she) starts looking at adoption from the child’s perspective, beyond their own need, biases or myths. The parent has to be comfortable with the idea of adoption, engage their kith & kin, believe in telling the child about adoption and to position adoption as a happy event to the child. This requires setting aside the notions developed through hearsay or casual conversations, some of those include:

Adoption is for childless couples only – Adoption needs to be viewed beyond the parent’s need. There are several parents who are adopting children in addition of or even without requiring to have their biological kids. Adopting a child does not mean that you should not or cannot have your biological children.

Children above 2 years of age do not bond well – 80% of the parents registered for adoption in India opt for an infant or youngest possible child owing to this misconception. Children over 2 years of age are often more responsible, may have a more stable health and could bond better with age appropriate parents. Often these children have more stable health, and moreover the most prominent features of their overall health are already visible, so that an informed decision can be taken by the prospective parent.

Child should be matched with the parent – Nothing could be more racial, discriminatory and illogical than the ill-conceived concept of matching a child with the parent. Unfortunately, even the government regulations provide for and use the term “matching-of-a-child”. A child will develop its own personality and it is naïve to seek comfort in similar looks of the child. This also leads to debate upon adopting a child from local agencies so that the child matches the appearance of the parents. Several parents add months to their wait in adoption opting for nearby regions to adopt from, even as there may be no children available for adoption in certain areas.

Don’t tell the child about adoption – A child has to be told about his/her adoption because it is very much part of their identity, resolves several situations that may arise out of medical necessity and reflects upon the parents comfort and commitment in the first place. It is important to tell the child about adoption , first of all, and in a positive context, even before you tell the child that it was adopted.

Children should not be placed with single parents – The marital status of parent is irrelevant. There are millions of “couples” who could adopt, but are simply not interested in adoption. In our view, we - as a community - have to enable each parent, single or married, young or old, Hindu or non-Hindu desirous of adopting a child, to support the child in all possible manner.

Read through our BLOG section for getting a fresh perspective on commonly held, but avoidable, perceptions on adoption. Whether it is the latest policy decision from CARA, grievance of a parent, a court judgement or a news from a remote corner of the country, you will find in FoJ a platform to reflect the public sentiment and commentary from our experts.