35.Short Essay and Article on: PARENTHOOD THROUGH ADOPTION


Adoption means establishing a bond between a couple (the adopters) and a child (the adoptee) which is legal, socially. and morally equivalent to that between parents and their biological children. The adoptive couple 5 responsibilities in relation to a child the same rights and lime as in a biological relationship. and so does the adopted child towards his adoptive parents. Adoption has been prevalent in India since ancient times. However, until the recent past, it has been mainly to fulfil the needs of the parents. i.e., to have a male child to perform the last rites, or to acquire an heir to inherit the family name. and P 10 property. Childless couples or those without a male child usually adopted a child from their own extended family, or at least belonging to their own caste and community. The child’s needs were secondary, although usually, a strong parent-child bond did develop. 15 Today, when a couple decides to adopt, the above reasons continue to be a major motivating factor. Almost equally potent is the desire to avoid the stigma attached to barrenness. However, more couples are now having reservations about adopting a child whose parents are known to them, and are instead reeking children about whose background they may have little or no information. This is to avoid divided loyalties and possible interference in 20. the upbringing of the child they adopt. While India continues to have a high birth rate, there are also thousands of couples who are childless. In their desperation to become parents. they go from pillar to post and frequently spend thousands of rupees in hying out various methods like in-vitro fertilisation, which still have a very low success 25. rate. Many approach hospitals and private nursing homes and with the active assistance of medical and other staff, obtain unwanted children born therein, often clandestinely. Unfortunately. not many people seem to be aware of the existence of destitute children in institutions, languishing for want of a loving home. Or that there are competent child welfare organisations which can help 30 them to fulfil their desire for a child, at the same time ensuring that their interests and those of the child are fully protected from all angles. including the important aspect of confidentiality. Details about such organisations are available with the State Department or Directorate of Social Welfare, and couples seriously considering adoption would do better to approach only such 35 organisations rather than depending on the dubious and unreliable assistance of unauthorised persons in hospitals and nursing homes. In a metropolitan city like Mumbai, there has been an encouraging rise in the number of legal Indian adoptions taking place from less than 25 adoptions a 40. year two decades ago. to 279 in 1990. The adoption of girl children has also been steadily on the increase, although it is still nowhere near the number of male adoptions. With the breaking up of the joint family system, couples are realising that their sons will not necessarily always be around to look after them in their old age and that there is an equal, if not better chance of their receiving lifelong care and affection from a daughter. as from a son.

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