Monday, February 28, 2005

FAQs on Adoption

What is adoption?
Adoption is a process of parenting children who are not related to one by birth.

Who is eligible to adopt?
• Married couples or single adults (unmarried, widowed, divorced) who have a steady income sufficient to bear the family expenses and provide a financial security for the child.
• Those whose age does not exceed 45 years.
• Those who have a home environment comfortable for themselves and a child.

Is adoption legal in India?
Adoption is legal in India. The IPC has two laws under which children can be adopted depending on the religion of the adoptive parents.
1. The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act 1956 which applies only to Hindus.
2. The Guardianship and Ward Act 1890 which applies to non-Hindus (Christians, Muslims and Parses). A 1996 judgement by Justice FI Rebello of the High Court grants adoption for non-Hindu families who have taken the child under guardianship for over a period of two years.

How can you adopt?
Adoption can be done only through government recognised placement agencies, in accordance with the prescribed legal procedure.

Where can we find more details of adoption in India (specifically Mumbai)?
Check this link for organizations and contact details.


Ours by Choice
We are guilty of many errors and many faults
But our worst crime
Is abandoning the children,
neglecting the fountain of life.
Many of the things we need can wait.
The child cannot.
Right now is the time
his bones are being formed,
his blood is being made,
and his senses are being developed.
To him we cannot answer"Tomorrow."
His name is "Today."
- Gabriela Mistral


The really beautiful comment Tejaswini left on the previous post on Adoption is repeated below ... verbatim, because I feel it's impossible to improve on what she's said so wonderfully ...

Adoption ... to me, its one of the noblest things that one can do. Also, one of the toughest.

There's a cute little book called "Little Prince". Its a sweet rambling book that gives you huge insights into life. One of the things that's stayed with me, is the concept of "Taming".

The author explains how a little prince is fond of one particular rose. The rose is just like any other ... but he loves THIS rose .. because he tamed her. He took care of her .. watered her, fed her. And so he cared only for her.

So it is with a child, a human being. I can say this because I have seen it.

I have an uncle who adopted two children. Another who adopted one .. I find this even more amazing coz he already had one son, but he went ahead and adopted a daughter.

Today, these children are like any of us. We don't ever think of them as "adopted" or as "outsiders".

The biggest factor has been the family support. This has helped the children to merge with the family. And they are all aware that they are adopted by and not born from their parents.

I agree with Suhail when he says that it requires huge emotional investments ... but its the same if you have a kid naturally, right? And a child is like a pet ... it can tame you and make you fall in love.

And when you are in love, you are a goner. The child can twist you round its little finger and you'll never remember that you actually paid for the little devil.


And it will become an inseparable part of you.

The returns are immense ... emotionally. And you have helped to give a child a home, care, love and protection ... everything it would have been bereft of, otherwise.

What better way to do social service?

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


(MAD Club Individual Project #6)

What does it take to bring a new life under one's wing? What does it take to adopt a child?

Adoption is without doubt a life-changing experience. It involves huge emotional investments. A passionate commitment that will not waver. Often a total change of lifestyle and mindset. A risk of social ostracism.

After all, bringing a child up well is not child's play.

But on the flip side, what are the returns?

Dilip D'Souza and his wife are one such truly rare and wonderful couple who have dared to adopt. He recounts his experiences here and here. May his tribe increase.

For all those interested in adoption, it is recommended that you speak to an adoption agency, not an orphanage. In Mumbai, try the Indian Association for the Promotion of Adoption. For further details, email fd97075@yahoo.co.in.

Don't Adopt Us!

As a response to the terrible Tsunami tragedy, relief measures are now nearing completion. The phase of rehabilitation begins now.

Rehabilitation includes many aspects. Repairing the houses of the Tsunami victims, and ensuring that the new houses are sturdier than before. Providing boats to fishermen and self-sustainable livelihood to the affected families. Providing counselling to traumatized villagers - often just hearing them out silently is therapy enough for them to snap out of often-suicidal depression modes. And, last but not least, adopting those children left without family and home by the ravaging waves.

Of course, adoption of Tsunami children has its own complications. It is not just about signing on a dotted line. There are multiple linguistic, cultural, and emotional issues to overcome.

But the benefits clearly outweigh the costs. Read a new adoptive couple's experiences here.

For further assistance, contact any NGO involved in doing relief work in the affected areas. But a word of caution : Before embarking on this journey, read on ...


(Source : News Reports)

NAGAPATTINAM: Fourteen-year-old Kavidevi breaks down in tears as her uncle begins to register her and her three sisters at a government centre for tsunami orphans in southern India.
She keeps shaking her head, mumbling that she doesn't want to live in an orphanage after her parents were washed away by the sea last month.

Her uncle and orphanage workers try to console her, but she cries and runs out of the gate to hide in the motor rickshaw that brought the sisters from their fishing village.

"I don't want to stay here, I don't want to stay here," she says as she sobs, begging her dead father's younger brother to look after the girls himself.

Her two younger sisters and an older sister stare blankly as Kavidevi pleads.

Uncle Ramajeyam fails to convince her that she would be better off at the orphanage and could even find a new home as hundreds of people from across India and abroad have offered to adopt orphans of the Indian Ocean tsunami.

He takes the girls back to their village, hoping that he will succeed in persuading Kavidevi after a religious ceremony in memory of her parents later this week.

Kavidevi's refusal to leave her village and live in an orphanage, let alone consider being adopted by a new family, does not surprise adoption experts.

The last thing orphans want, especially those above the age of five or six, is to be uprooted from the environment in which they grew up, they said.

The cultural complexities involved in rehabilitation were starkly reflected when many tsunami survivors in south India refused bread served by charities from wheat-eating northern India, preferring their staple of rice instead.

With Indian laws requiring the consent of children before adoption, it is a scenario bound to disappoint hundreds of couples who are keen to adopt India's tsunami orphans.

No ideal solution

"One of the most difficult things for a child is change. And children have had so much change right now that naturally an average child or even an average adult would not want any more change," Aloma Lobo, head of the Indian government's Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA), told Reuters.

Children were hardest hit by the tsunami which killed 175,000 people around the Indian Ocean including 16,000 in India.

They account for about a third of the dead in India and tens of thousands more are orphaned or have only one surviving parent.

In Nagapattinam, India's worst hit district, 222 children were orphaned, and another 879 children had one parent left, according to government records.

Dozens more may still be with relatives before they are brought to the orphanage, officials said.

S Suryakala, head of Nagapattinam's social welfare department, said authorities were only considering allowing adoption of tsunami orphans by families in the same region and no thought had been given to foreign adoption.

"We have to be very careful. We have to ascertain that there is no child trafficking or abuse," she said.

While younger orphans would receive regular education, older boys and girls would be trained to work as computer operators, nurses, typists, make pickles or knit clothes.

And under local government rules, such orphans would be given preference during recruitment for government jobs, Suryakala said.

Yet, it is not exactly an ideal solution.

"My first preference would be to let older children remain in their own community. And family care is any day better than institutional care," said CARA's Lobo.

"But allowing adoption of children older than seven presents challenges to both the child and new parents. So we have to play it by ear."

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