Holding out a hand
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
~~~Max Ehrmann ~~~~~
Adoptionof a child is one of the noblest acts which a human can do. Giving a child, whose unfortunate destiny it is not to have a home or a family, a home, love and support in its growth and future is an act of kindness and mercy and needs a lot of courage and sacrifice. More so, given the challenges involved of understanding the child and helping it adjust to your environment. Many of the children come from backgrounds of poverty, may be single parent children, products of teenage pregnancies, children of rape victims, tragedies and disasters. Many people choose to adopt kids because they want to give back something to society, to fulfill their own unfulfilled dreams and to genuinely give a life to the child.
Today, Adoption of a child, especially of a race other than yours, has become the latest celebrity pursuit and a controversial one at that. Ranging from stars like Madonna, Meg Ryan,Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman to the most famous and biggest adopters so far, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Questions arise about the motives behind ( altruism, self interest, Public relations exercise, how will the child adapt and cope with the natural children and the facts of their adoption) but fact remains that adoption has become very popular.
Adopting a child is not something which can or ought to be done on the spur of a moment and on the basis of spurious objectives. You have to decide and evaluate whether you are choosing to adopt a child on the basis of the right reasons. Whether you are ready to take on a lifelong responsibility. It has to come from the heart but it has to be a commitment. You really need to be prepared for it.
How do we decide to adopt a child and the criteria?
Ask yourself. Can you do it? Do you see yourself as the lifelong guardian of the child? Do you see yourself as telling the truth when needed to the child? Is it a responsibility u can fulfill? Will u stand by the child through its ups and downs? To be prepared for any unexpected changes in the child (physiological or psychological), which may arise. To be prepared that it may not all be a story book ending. It may not work out at all. It is a unpredictable journey. To give comfort and freedom to the child. Be 100 % sure before committing yourself.Ask your parents, your spouse, your friends, people who have adopted, agencies, read up. Interact with children. Read all the legal and humanistic aspects involved. Find out about what works or didnt work in specific cases. At the end of the day, the child’s interests are paramount, not yours.
What are the steps involved in an adoption procedure?
1.You need to decide whether you want to be in contact with the natural parent or not ( if the natural parent is available. ) This is called open or private adoption. There r both pros and cons to sharing access of the child with its birth parents
2. Domestic or International adoptions.
3.You need to choose a licensed, accredited agency who is trustable and with whom you will be contacting regarding all the paperwork and legalities required to adopting your child as well as who will help you in your search.
4. Matching of child and parents would be carried out based on their criteria. Meetings would be aranged over a period of time to check whether it would be feasible.
5.Usually a social worker would be there to help you and the child make the adjustments to your new life, through a series of counseliing sessions
6. Placement sessions which would be monitored to check that child is settling well before, adoption is finalised.
7. Even after that monitoring would go on.
In Singapore, a parent needs to be atleast 25 years of age to be an adoptive parent. The MCYS is involved in mediating adoption matters in Singapore. There are well defined guidelines on how to proceed with adoption procedures.
What are the cons or risk factors you need to be aware of before going for adoption?
Even though most adoption stories are successful and have been the means of bringing joy into the lives of parents as well as children, some words of advice.
There have been cases where parents have been fooled into adopting children, by unscrupulous adoption agencies, without being aware of serious psychological difficulties the child may be having. Acting out, defiance, outright violence and bullying by the child against the adoptive parent and other siblings have lead to terrible consequences. These acts, have been due to the longterm stress they have been living under.A recent article in Newsweek (2008) says that 14 russian children were killed by their adoptive parents, in a fit of rage as a response to the terrible psychological bullying they underwent.
An interview with one such suffering jailed parent, states that had they been aware of the child’s problems before adoption this could have been prevented or atleast be prepared for. So be aware of the agencies and investigate thoroughly before you sign up. It should not be something where you and your child suffer lifelong.
Let me end with..adopting a child is but a step in helping them to be free. Birth child or adopted, Gibran’s sayings always should be kept in mind..
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you…
~ by terriblethinker on June 28, 2011.