A society is shaped by constant improvisation, with a singular end in mind- to give and seek a purpose in one’s living. The act of adoption is built on the sole foundation of creating your own family, with the central aim of enriching each other’s lives.
Today, more single men and women are opting for adoption and embracing it bravely. In India, the stereotype of wedlock before parenthood is being disproved by numerous youngsters, who are yearning to experience the sheer joy of parenthood. As per the Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA), over 510 prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) have registered as of 2019-2020.
To adopt and accept a child is a milestone in any individual’s life, replete with its own fortunes and challenges. This choice to adopt is a personal calling, and like any family, they too fight their battles and eventually conquer the hardships that they stumble upon.
The Decision to Uplift a Life-
Whatever be the reason for the birth parents to let go of their child, to part from one’s kid is undoubtedly a daunting experience. However, no one but the birth parents have the right to make this decision. These two opposite ends -leaving your biological child or adopting a child as one’s own- intersect for a single cause: giving a human being a purpose to live.
Today, various single women, men, transgender people, and homosexual or heterosexual couples are fulfilling their need for a child with their right and ability to adopt. Individuals opt for adoption in order to give a child a renewed state of living, to help a child experience life outside foster care or an orphanage, and to give them a family and a sense of hope. Saroo Brierley, an Indian boy adopted at the age of five by an Australian couple (Sue and John Brierley) speaks on his story as an adoptee through his biopic,”Lion.” The lost Indian boy, laden with poverty, had escaped the near clutches of human trafficking and was accepted by his adoptive family in Australia, and was thus given a chance in life to prosper. But his past continued to haunt him as his roots were never uprooted.
The troubled adoptee, Saroo, asked Sue (his adoptive mother), “When you chose to adopt, did you realize that you adopted the whole package- a child’s entire past with its scars and glories?”
The Loophole in Humanity-
Adoption is an elusive feat for the weak mind. A child has their own history bottled up within them, and that resonates for a lifetime. There are children who have experienced inhuman trauma and assault during their earlier life, before being welcomed into a better environment. More so, a child’s life post adoption may not be the one they anticipated.
A North Carolina (U.S.) army soldier was sentenced to life for sexually abusing his adopted daughter. Surely, the daughter was better off before this hypocrisy of “uplifting a life.” In Arunachal Pradesh, India, a boy was arrested for raping his adopted sister. Although raping transcends any relation or humanity, a monstrous eye always lurked on this girl inside her very home. In the U.S. state of Georgia, an 18 year old boy was apprehended for killing his adoptive parents. The shocking part is: these stomach-churning incidents aren’t rare. When a child from a different race is adopted, more often than not, the child is humiliated by his/her peers and undergoes severe identity crisis. Various legal wars due to an adoptee’s inheritance rights are also fought by the adoptive family. Unless the family accepts each other wholeheartedly, the dissolution of the sanctity of adoption is inevitable.
Today, professional counseling does safeguard the process of adoption to a certain extent. However, the crevices in this system still seem exposed.
Having said that, with immorality mushrooming at an alarming rate, today even a biologically built household is not spared from the horrendous stains of perversion and inhumanity. It all narrows down to the values and the equations created by the individual family.
Adoption Dissolution- A Not So Uncommon Phenomenon
Risk of adoption disruption is not uncommon, where the birth parents withdraw their commitment to the adoptive family or an adoptive parent refuses to accept a mentally-challenged child as their own. In the U.S. alone, the disruption rate is 6-11%. Such incidents cause immense turmoil in the birth parents and prospective adoptive parents, while the unaware, innocuous child pleads for sufficient nourishment.
In many cases, due to adoption dissolution, children are put up for “second chance adoptions.” But this tossing of the child from one family to the other is not well received by the adoptee, and they are deeply inflicted with questions of self-worth. The process of adoption is not sealed with a bow tie after the child is received into a family. It’s a perennial journey like any other household, with work always in progress.
The Essence of Adoption-
There is no life without risk. The difficulties of every family, be it those with adopted children or biological children, are flooded with their own complications. No family or relationship is a piece of cake. It does take effort to keep any boat afloat. However, the adopted child and the parent must be oriented to see past their non-biological ties and wholeheartedly merge as a family.
Sushmita Sen, a Bollywood celebrity, adopted her two daughters Renee and Alisah, not only to uplift their lives but also to give a new meaning to her own life and in Sushmita’s words, to protect herself. Katelyn, a Russian girl adopted by an American family, was accepted with her temporary illness as a child and given a new life that helped her recover completely and experience this world in all of its glory. Adoptees are grateful to have been given a chance in this world, been lifted from poverty or orphan status, and have been blessed to experience the love of a family.
To adopt does not mean to pin a badge of altruism or blindly follow a celebrity trend. It is a deep-rooted choice which, if one accepts, should be done with all of its varying shades. As Sandra Bullock said, “Once a kid is adopted, it is incorrect to continue deeming them as your adopted children.” They are your complete responsibility and are your own, to nurture and give a better life to.
An Inner Calling-
The symphony between an adopted child and parent is to be established with proper footing. Systems in society are making the legal aspects of adoption quite stringent and risk-proof. An adoptive family is a family like any other, united to live a worthy life.
A family is never structured to be of a certain kind. It shapes itself from the relationship between a child, the parent, and the siblings. And that’s all it has to it. No conditions, no gold standards. Every family member must acknowledge that they’re a family filled with heydays and labyrinths. A family should thus strive to give their children a reason to live, to live a life they have been created to live.