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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Conselling an adoptive family

It was one of the most productive evenings. Around 5:00 PM I got a call on my mobile saying that they are trying to locate the HOPE House. After ascertaining their information, I gave them directions and in about one hour time they landed at our office at the HOPE House.

Four of them came and asking me for guidance to adopt a child. In my usual way of counselling, I took them through the entire process and then gave them snippets about "do's & don'ts'. They had very interesting questions that no one ever asked me before (for example, if a child is adopted under guardianship act (GAWA) before, can that same child be adopted under JJ Act now) and for some I didn't have answers.

One aspect of my counselling I am deeply passionate about is to educate the families about the importance of being open about the child's adoption. Across the board I have seen families that have no awareness on this issue. When I had finished counselling, I knew I had made some headway and when I asked them if they were convinced? their answer said it all "More than convinced".

I also encouraged the family to equate the adoption journey to a biological conception and look forward to receiving an adoptive child just like preparing to bring a biological child. I told them to be excited like any impending arrival. I could see the grin on all four of their faces and they were all looking at each other with lot of excitement.

We talked for about an hour and half. One final question across the board everyone ask me is the fee for my counselling services. I tell them that this is my passion and not a job so it is offered at no cost. This family was so touched with all the information that they had obtained from us they refused to leave without paying us. I left it to them so they paid 200 rupees. I promptly got their mailing address so that I could mail their receipt.

It was fun because during most of the talk I used my own experiences as examples to help them understand specific incidents and they truly appreciated that.

At the end of the day, it felt good to have left the United States to pursue my passion - to promote the message of adoption in India.

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