Adoption and its Emotional Manifestations
‘It is never the same’, ‘what will people say’, ‘what if you have your own child later’ – these are only some of the excuses naysayers will throw your way when you discuss your intention to adopt a child, with family and friends. Here are some ways of tackling these perceptions.
Even in this day and age, world-over, adoption is a choice, always second to having your own child. The average Indian family, when having trouble conceiving, will try all possible methods like IVF and surrogacy before even considering adoption. Even then, the decision will be followed by multiple advices about getting a second, third and fourth opinion. And we, being the way we are, will take into account the feelings of our immediate family, extended family, friends, their friends and members of the society before taking a decision as personal as this.
Some of The Perceptions We Face
1. You won’t be able to accept an adopted child as your own
This is one of the most common misconceptions in our minds. India and the world are replete with instances where the biological child herself is abandoned by her family and dear ones, leave alone adopted ones.
However, love, just like beauty, lies in the eyes of the beholder. To give an example, your house help’s daughter who has grown up in front of your eyes, may be far dearer to you than your favourite cousin’s son, who you have seen probably just twice in your entire life.
2. An adopted child turns out to be more difficult
As parents, we can vouch for one thing and that is, kids go through a phase, where nothing we (as parents) say is right. This holds true for one’s biological kids, leave alone the adopted kids. The reason being that an adopted kid brings in the temperament of her real set of parents. And therefore, faces problems while adopting with a new family.
At such times, we recollect all the lovely moments this brat has given us so far, take a deep breath and gather the shreds of our patience to move on. Ultimately, a child is defined by how she is brought up and the values she is given, not by the family she is born into. The sooner we realize this, higher are our chances of leading a peaceful life with our child.
3. You will become partial when you will have your own child
Does this happen when your second or third child arrives? Doesn’t your reservoir of love only increase instead of getting divided into two? And why does that happen? Because you see both children as your own – there is no distinction between your older and younger kids. Once you have overcome this distinction between kids, biological or otherwise, this argument becomes moot
4. Risk of health problems
Another common argument is ‘you will have to take care of the child if he gets sick’. Well, our rebuttal to that is, wouldn’t you take care of your own children when they fall ill, or your spouse or parents for that matter? Or will you just sit back and say, I didn’t sign up for this. The equation should remain the same in all cases.
5. She may want to find her biological family and go to them
Wanting to explore one’s origins is a natural phenomenon. However, what if she chooses to stay with them after all these years with us; parents believe that there must have been something lacking in their love and not in her. This is not the way for parents to approach this topic; albeit they should do it in a more matured way. Just the fear of parting from the kid, should not be the reason for you to withhold the truth of her biological family from her.
Always remember, when we adopt a child, the child adopts us too. Adjustments will have to be made at both ends. The only challenge lies in your own acceptance of the situation. Let the rest of the world come round to it at their own time.