Do you know this?

There are approximately 18000 parents registered with CARA, while the number of children in the Government's adoption pool is less 1800.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My encounter with an adoptee

Yesterday I had the privilege of spending sometime with an adoptee that was adopted to the United States of America under inter-country adoption in the late 80’s. As an adoptive father, I wanted some advice so I asked her “as an adoptee, what advice do you have for adoptive parents?”

Very graciously she said “when your children do ask you about their birth families, don’t panic. They ask because it is part of their life and not because you did/ didn’t do something”. “My mom always talked about my birth mom in such a positive way that I have lot of respect for my mom” adoptee continued.

It was so comforting to hear this because I had said this before on this blog and elsewhere also the same point. Many Indian adoptive families are open to discussing about adoption with their children but very insecure to talk about their birth families. I wonder why? I think it has many dimensions to it ranging from the society that we live in to the development of mindset as individuals.

Adoption in itself is not a widespread phenomenon in India so it is something new to many of us. When we do not know about something we tend to form ideas based on our past experiences or what we have been taught or advised. Talking about birth families to our adoptive children fits into this thought. A new context that we ought to be look at this issue is the ‘best interests of the child’.

If you love your child unconditionally, no matter what the topic of discussion is, you’d feel comfortable enough to talk openly and honestly. Don’t feel threatened in anyway but know that your child is asking something that is part of their life. If you do not know anything about the family, it is not wrong to say “I don’t know” but you can be creative enough to build positives around the facts that you know of.

When we love our children unconditionally, we must be willing to accept their decisions unconditionally.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Write in the comments section below.


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