Making A Stranger Your Own
Adopting a child is a very significant decision for a couple, which presumes that the child will be well-accepted and showered with due care, affection and love. It also implies certain legal responsibilities that the couple must abide by. Thus before taking the step, they should be prepared in every way to let a child which is not theirs, into their home and hearts.
Generally, adoption is associated with couples who are unable to bear children in the natural process. However, this concept is gradually changing and these days, not all couples who adopt a child are necessarily infertile. They are opting for adoption due to various reasons such as their genuine love for children, as company to their offspring, or simply as a noble act towards the society by gifting a healthy, happy and stable life to a child who’s unfortunate in so many ways. In many cases, where a couple has two children of the same sex, they may be keen to have a child of the other sex, and hence they adopt. In other cases, an only child in a family may often feel lonely and rather than going through the various complications of pregnancy and childbirth, a couple may find it safer and simpler to adopt a child to complete their family and also be a companion to their child.
Some people genuinely believe that the world population is a burning problem and having more babies will only contribute to it, Thus they prefer adopting a child that will not only address the issue of overpopulation but will also improve the life of an orphan and destitute child. It not only gives immense joy to the adopting parents but is a beautiful way of social service. Probably this explains why many single celebrities who want to experience the joy of parenthood without getting married are adopting children.
Again, in these days of career-oriented, ambitious men and women, both the husband and wife may lead extremely hectic and stressful lives, which might disincline them from having babies. The woman may also run out of her normal biological clock; in such circumstances, they can have an heir in the form of an adopted baby. If they do not want to go through the strain of raising an infant, they may choose to adopt an older child. Besides, couples who (either or both of them) suffer from grave genetic diseases such as thalassemia may want to adopt for fear of their natural child contracting the same disease.
However, a couple needs to keep in mind various factors when they decide to adopt. Besides being financially, socially, and emotionally prepared, they need to consult the other family members and decide the age of the child that they should adopt. They should understand the term ’special needs adoption’ and reconsider if a special needs child will fit into their family. If considering an interracial adoption, they should learn the art of parenting of that particular race. Adoption can be a long drawn-out process with red tape at every turn. Besides the paperwork involved, the couple has to go through various verification, scrutinization and investigation procedures. It may amount to considerable time, from two to six months or longer. Once the couple has made a final decision, their lawyer files the relevant documents in court. The court decree marks the end of the process and the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
It is a lifelong commitment that requires careful thought, deliberation and dedication. One has to be well-informed of the various aspects and state laws associated with adoption, be it through magazines, internet, seminars, conferences, counseling etc. They also have to question themselves repeatedly as to whether they as a couple are sincere, perseverant and flexible enough to take up the demanding role of a parent, that too of a child who is not exactly their flesh and blood?? The extended family and friends’ circle, most importantly, the natural children (if any) must also be prepared to accept the new member. They must be encouraged to share and care, adapt and adjust. The financial resources must be taken care of, a reliable adoption agency should be chosen, and most importantly, the couple should never feel that they are doing a favour by adopting.
Adopting a child is a journey in itself. It is not only rewarding but also very challenging. Nurture the new entrant to your family with love, warmth and receptivity, and at the end of the day, it will leave a sense of fulfillment that is to be cherished forever.