A Choice To Love
-By Shruti Menon
Families are created in different ways, but family is family— and it’s important to remember that when it comes to adoption.
As the stories of Yashoda taking care of Krishna, and the one of the Rani of Jhansi adopting a son show us, the culture of adoption has been prevalent in India for centuries and can be socially accepted. In the current scenario of the country where our population is at 1.3 billion people and rising, adoption is a practical and viable option to expand one’s family if one wishes to do so, and give an orphan a second chance at life, while also not contributing to the population boom.
Many people, however, don’t really think of adoption as an option for many reasons— it could probably be because of the narrative pushed to us in society about having children biologically, about the wonders of childbirth. Childbirth is definitely a beautiful experience, but the lack of any conversation about adoption in the general public sphere kind of puts that out of the minds of people looking to expand their families. People also frown upon adoption because they may feel uncomfortable about not knowing the child’s cultural background, or maybe against the idea of an ‘outsider’ who's pedigree they can’t be sure of, in their own family. Then there’s also a fear that many parents have, that the child may not feel like their own, or upon finding out that they’re adopted, the child may want to leave, be disruptive, etc.
The fact is that adoption may not be biologically the way to have a child, but humans are social animals — social bonds are therefore very important to us. Adoption of a child can come with its risks and drawbacks, but isn’t every pregnancy like that? Raising an adopted child does involve some amount of tact, but parenting, in general, is like that as well. According to statistics as well, adoptions are, most of the time, quite successful and do not get dissolved or disrupted. This debunks the myth of adoption being risky— pregnancies could easily get just as risky too.
Adoption, therefore, is not too different from raising a biological family. It’s just that the circumstances of the child joining the family is different from others, and that there is sometimes no knowledge of family history for things like diseases, etc. That knowledge can also be gained nowadays with the help of genetic testing kits that are becoming more and more available to use. The most important thing to do is to treat the child normally and naturally, because adopted, or biological, at the end of the day they are your child, and all a child really needs for a good upbringing is affection and care.