November is America's national adoption month and combined with India's auspicious ‘children's day', it seems befitting to learn and spread awareness about adoption.
In 2006 the number of adoptions that took place in India was 3262 and in 2010 there were 6286. In the last 4 years these numbers have doubled. Awareness of adoption has definitely spread in India but we still do have a long way to go.
India, today, has the largest number of orphaned children in the world and spreading awareness of adoption is also spreading the positive notion that every child deserves a family.
Making the decision to adopt...
The decision to adopt a baby is very much a journey which can be daunting. Before determining whether you're ready to adopt, keep the following in mind:
• Be sure you are fully aware of the processes of adoption. Also consider the responsibilities of parenting someone else's child and what that might mean to you.
• Resolve any infertility issues, including grieving your loss while trying a natural birth. Prepare to have some emotions resurface after adoption.
• Remember that timing is important when adding a new member to your family.
Emotional Aspects of Adoption
It's usual for any adopted person, adult of child, to have difficult, ambiguous feelings about being adopted.
Most of us (whether adopted or not) go through a process of introspection and self-discovery throughout our teenage years. Being adopted can make that process even more complicated. For example, family members may look different from the adopted person or come from different cultures.
When people are questioning about their birth family, it doesn't mean they don't love their adoptive family or feel close to them. This curiosity, which can feel quite intense, is a normal part of development. It's common for people to just want to figure out more about themselves by finding out about or even meeting their birth families. There might also be some worry about whether your birth parents and family want to meet you.
It may take a while for some people to feel they can talk about the different emotions relating to their adoption but speaking to a trusted friend or a counselor could be extremely beneficial and help make this assimilation easier.
Few things to remember during the adoption process-
• The first thing to consider is how you yourself view adoption. If you happen to go into adoption as a no-choice scenario for not being able to reproduce, you may come into the relationship with some degree of bitterness about your own incapacity. It would be best to clear some of these issues and concerns before adopting. You can start by seeing it as a blessing both for you and your adoptive child.
• If you already have older children, it would be best to prepare them before the adopted baby comes home, although technically children who have never experienced a subsequent pregnancy may not have much trouble considering the new baby their own brother or sister. Of course, you will still have to deal with sibling rivalry just like naturally-born siblings.
• Finally, when the adoptive baby grows up enough, be sure to be open about his adoption, while reassuring him that you are very happy to have him. Nearly all adopted children go through a period of feeling abandoned by their biological parents, and experts have observed that this is ushered by easier when they are conscious of their adopted state from a young age. Whatever the case, if you continue to love and how absolute acceptance, it will bear fruit, and you will enjoy your adopted child growing confident knowing full well that he is loved unconditionally by his family.
• Adoption is indeed a rough situation to go through as a child, but as parents, you can easily be thankful for the joy that this process brings you. As you get vocal about the delight and joy you feel in the presence of your adopted child, it will rub off, and very soon you will find him returning your affection. Nothing will beat the relationship that you find yourself forming with the child who truly did not come from your tummy but came right from your heart!
While on the surface it may seem easy for a child to stay in the family in which he or she was living as an adopted child, in reality, the internal process for a child and family is much more complicated. Allowing children to just "drift" into adoption without recognizing the very important changes for the family may lead to complications later on. It's also crucial that both parents are on the same page when talking to their child about the adoption. Foster parents need to help children consider and understand their own past and reasons why they cannot live with their birth family, their loss and help them transfer their attachments to the adoptive family. In helping children, families will need to consider each child's needs as they are related to the child's age, personality, health, temperament, and cultural and racial experiences.
Seeking out counseling from someone well versed in adoption related issues can be a great first step towards starting your beautiful journey with your child on the right foot ...