November is celebrated globally as Adoption Awareness Month. This is the time to also reflect about why adoption isn’t charity but simply another way to build families. Let’s take the opportunity of talking about different facets of adoption. With this series of articles on adoption, we hope to bust some myths related to adoption and inform people who are interested in learning about adoption.
Introduction to adoption:
Over the years, more and more children are being adopted inside India. A few decades ago, the scenario in the adoption field in India was different. Couples would choose to go in for an adoption after exhausting all possible attempts to have a biological child. Over the years it’s interesting to notice that the trend and mindsets have changed. There are a lot of couples in their early and mid 30s who are opting to go in for an adoption. What is all the more interesting is that adoption is increasingly an option chosen by families with one or more biological children as well. We also have a lot of single parents (single fathers as well) who are coming forward to adopt a child.
Adoption is generally associated with the couples who plan to adopt since they are unable to bear a biological child/ ren. But interestingly the view towards adoption is slowly changing worldwide as well as in India.
Everyone who adopts may have a different reason for adopting. Let’s look at the reasons why one should adopt:
1. Genuine love for children: Although it may sound a bit unrealistic, there are many parents that adopt children due to their love for young ones. Their love for children is so compelling that they adopt children, irrespective of whether they have biological children or no.
2. If you’re unable to have a child due to infertility or other reasons, adoption may be right for you. It’s possible to adopt and raise the child like any other family. You may already have had a long wait for a child and adoption is a win – win situation for both the Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs) as well as the child. The PAPs get an opportunity to welcome the child into their home and lives and it gives a baby/ a child loving parent/ s and a family for a lifetime.
3. Adoption can be one of the most rewarding aspects of life for both you and your child. It really is wonderful and amazing to open your heart and home to a child that did not come from your womb, but you’re willing to love and nurture her just the same.
4. In case of a few couples who already have one or more children of the same gender, may wish to adopt a child of the opposite sex. This helps them complete their family through adoption. But these days it is not surprising to see PAPs wanting to adopt two children of the same sex/ gender.
5. It’s also a pleasure to witness PAPs adopting siblings and twins as well.
6. A single person who wishes to experience parenthood can also adopt. This helps them achieve parenthood and form their own family in spite of being single.
Irrespective of why one would want to adopt is completely a personal choice. But the positivity, love and warmth that the adoption gets into the parents’ lives is beyond imagination and can only be experienced.
Criteria for adoption:
When we talk about adoption, people tend to have a lot of questions about who can adopt. As per Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act 2000 as amended from time to time, the court may allow a child to be given in adoption –
- To a person irrespective of marital status; or
- To parents to adopt a child of the same sex irrespective of the number of living biological sons or daughters, or
- To a childless couple.
Additional Eligibility Criteria:
- A couple should have at least two years of stable marital relationship.
- Couples in live – in relationship are not eligible to adopt a child.
- To adopt a child in the age group of 0 – 3 years, the maximum composite age of the PAPs should be 90 years wherein the individual age of the PAPs should not be less than 25 years and more than 50 years.
- To adopt children above three years of age, the maximum composite age of the PAPs should be 105 years wherein the individual age of the PAPs should not be less than 25 years and more than 55 years
- In case, a single PAP desires to adopt, he or she should not be less than 30 years of age and shall not be above the age of 50 years. The maximum age shall be 45 years to adopt children in the age group of 0 – 3 years and 50 years for adopting children above 3 years
- The PAPs should have adequate financial resources to provide a good upbringing to the child. The PAPs should have good health and should not be suffering from any contagious or terminal disease or any such mental or physical condition, which may prevent them from taking care of the child
- Adoption of a second child is permissible only when the legal adoption of the first child has been finalized but this is not applicable in case of siblings
- An un – married or single male person is not permitted to adopt a girl child.
Article by Deepali Kulkarni Kumta
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Upcoming articles in this series:
We shall be discussing a few topics related to adoption and the post-adoption aspects in this series of articles. The topics that shall be covered are as follows:
- Preparation of the Prospective adoptive parent (s) and the family members for adoption
- Finalise the adoption agency to adopt from, the documentation involved
- The adoption procedure
- Importance of a home study in the adoption procedure
- Medical aspects and social backgrounds of the babies/ children admitted in adoption agencies
- Birthparents and the different issues related to birthparents
- Preparation of a prospective parent adopting an older child
- Preparation of the biological child (in case the couple is adopting out of choice or in cases of the second adoption)
- Talking to the child about her/ his own adoption
- Positive adoption language
- Discipline and adoption
- A parent speaks…
- Resources for prospective adoptive parents