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, August 21, 2008

Guest Column - Prospective adoptive family in India

Today we are featuring a prospective adoptive family in India. In this, you get a feeling that India’s future is in better hands. Meet Nirmala and Ravi – a couple adopting a child soon.

Tell us the thought process behind your decision to adopt.

I really can’t remember exactly when I thought of my own daughter. But I still remember reading pather panchali (In telugu) when I was in my 8th or 9th standard summer holidays. I cried through out. Specially when appu’s sister Durga dies and while reading about their small happiness. There I was fighting with my dad for not buying a tennis racket and as I wanted to be a tennis professional. Then I decided to do something about the poverty. The thought continued through my graduation. I had a friend in business school who always used to talk about getting married to an orphan and raising orphans. Somehow I could never believe him. I always thought he wouldn’t do it. Many times I wished I could do it. When I used to discuss it with my friend (and roommate in hostel) she told me its OK if a man thinks like that but as a woman I always need to think about whether my future husband wants it or not blah blah blah. The thought never died down.

I joined work and I still remember associating myself with I volunteer in Bangalore and once I moved to Hyderabad, we used to visit orphanages (from office) and I sponsored a child (thru CRY – Child Rights and You) and all that. During this time I met Ravi and we decided to get married. I told him I would like to continue my support to these children and thinking of sponsoring a girl child’s education. I am passionate about education, as I didn’t get to study in a good school (I had to study in Andhra University Campus in spite of getting a seat in a good business school). He said I could do whatever I want.

Obviously the decision to adopt couldn't have been 'a decision in sync', so who had this thought (to adopt) first and how did this other person go about bringing the other onto track (to adopt)?

Well, I still remember, the first day of our honeymoon in Naldehra, shimla. The moment we managed to come out (I remember we skipped the breakfast as we woke up very late) our room, we were just admiring the beautiful mountains and we asked some one at the resort what the old building on the hilltop is. He said it’s an orphanage and I immediately told my hubby if we could go there after lunch (both of us were starving). We bought lots and lots of biscuits and went as we weren’t sure what they would accept and we hardly got anything to take in that small town. We came back and he could see my happy face. After we came home from honeymoon, one night he suddenly said that he always longed to adopt. I was skeptical as he was hesitating to tell. I asked him how serious he was. He said if I agree he would love to do it ASAP. Then I told him he better not back out (I never expressed my desire till then) and I am very keen on it. That’s it. It’s unbelievable but that’s how we decided.

I asked Ravi why he wants to adopt. He said he just doesn’t have any particular reason. He was always involved in blue cross (he quit eating meat coz of that) and always wanted to make a difference. He knows his job never lets him participate in too many activities out side so he wanted to bring home some one. He loves children.

Tell us about how you handled both sides of your families’ response to your decision to adopt?

We first started with my mother as she is very modern in her thoughts and she appreciated us readily. Then it’s Ravi’s parents. We told them as soon as we decided together (within a month of our marriage) and they didn’t take us seriously. Now that our first child is going to be adopted, Ravi first told his dad. Then after 3-4 days we made both of them sit together and explained to them. They wanted the second child to be adopted as we might have a bio daughter and my father in law feels that it’s nice if we could have both genders at home. Else they weren’t particularly averse to the idea of adoption. We are skeptical about how it will turn out but things are slowly falling in place.

What kind of pre-adoption counseling have you had if you had any? Is there anything that you like to suggest for the prospective adoptive parents to do in this stage of adoption?

After I spoke to you I continued my search for a good adoption agency from Chennai and we came across a good lady by name Ms. Vidya Shankar (Relief Foundation - Chennai). Ravi and I got an appointment to meet her and I must say it was overwhelming. We were shaken as she gave us an insight into the difficulties and joys of bringing up an adopted child. We wanted to adopt a baby because we want to give home to a baby girl. She said yes, it s a nice feeling and it should stop there once we apply for adoption. From then on it is we becoming parents and how we should make the home a better place for our child from the time she enters till the day we die.

I am sure you have done your research to narrow the adoption agency, can you tell us how you went about narrowing down Latur agency?

The first agency I called up in Chennai said that they are not doing adoptions anymore, second agency told me that the waiting period is around 2 years for a baby girl. Some other agencies told me that I couldn’t adopt from Tamilnadu as we have been living here only for the past 2 years. I got panicked. That’s when I found out your website and it took me 2 days to read the entire website. We also contacted Andhra Pradesh Sishu Greh and there I got very warm response and were told that it will take anywhere between 12-18 months to bring the baby home. So I made my brother get an application form but before registering with them we just wanted to see if we can find out whether we can adopt from other states (you told us that we could and that gave us lot of confidence). That’s when we found Vidya Shankar and everything has fallen into place. Everything finished in 10days flat. Through Vidya Shankar and another friend of her we got the number and email address of CSA (Catalysts for Social Action) Then I got a response from CSA with in 2 days and that’s it. They referred me to an agency in Latur.

To be continued tomorrow....

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