16 February 2012

My Blood

A story in Femina (25 Jan’12): A poor farmer’s wife tried to conceive. She failed time & again, so she even got her sister married to her husband so they could’ve a waaris (heir). But that didn’t work either. Finally, at the age of 70, she went for IVF procedure & delivered a baby! The cost of the IVF was Rs 2 lakh. They sold off 2 acres of land, 1 bullock & a cart they owned, took an agriculture loan of Rs 50,000/-, & now, every 6 months they pay Rs 3000/- as bank interest. Their financial & medical struggles to have a baby, was not the only thing that caught my attention, rather what she said at the end of the interview did. She said, “Why didn’t we adopt? Is that a question to ask? If we had adopted a child, he’d have thrown us out of the house. Who would’ve given us food? And why should we adopt & give all our property to a stranger?”

Why did she fear that he’d throw them out? Why are we paranoid that adopted children will turn out ungrateful? Don’t our own biological children treat us similarly or even worse? Why are we almost sure that the adopted ones will shame us in some way? I understand that the fear “What if the child turns out evil/badly behaved?” or “What if his parents were criminals or anti-social?” is a very real one. And it brings me to the eternal debate of which is the superseding force - nature or nurture? What triumphs ultimately - our genes or the way we are raised?

What I don’t understand, however, is the concept of ‘my blood’ or ‘pure blood.’ What is so pure about it? I’m a Hindu, so I’ll be burnt when I die. And my so-called pure blood along with my pure bones & flesh would turn into obnoxious air. The pure blood notion is deeply ingrained in our psyche & closely linked to inheritance & the sharing of wealth & the reason why we reproduce &/or not adopt. We do not easily accept adoption as a solution to infertility or as an answer to an accompanying desire for an offspring. Traditionally, even if some did adopt, it’d be a sibling’s kid; not a stranger picked up from some orphanage or hospital.

In college, I remember reading stories of couples who had adopted & thinking “I’ll adopt a child, not an infant or a toddler, but a slightly older child.” I wondered where they got their strength from because to adopt, one needs a big heart full of warmth & a great deal of sensitivity. We think that we are changing the child’s life but the truth is, he is making a difference to our lives. When I got married & discussed this with Sathya, the answer was a firm no. I was sensible enough to know that, if he is strongly against the thought of adoption, I couldn’t go ahead with it. I must let go of it altogether, or wait till he comes around on his own, because the resulting negative environment wouldn’t be conducive to the child or for the others in the family. A child can easily sense traces of indifference. This HAD to be a joint decision. And the discussion ended there. But, if I outlive Sathya, then, one day, I’ll do it.

The decision to adopt cannot be an emotional one. One must have a reasonably well-paying job. The adoption procedures itself can be harrowing & so long-drawn that it’s enough to put off any well-meaning couples off it. One must think both from the heart & the brain; be emotional & practical in equal measure for something as momentous as this. I don’t know how long it’ll take us to open our hearts to it. All I know is, if we - the ones who ‘need’ to or ‘want’ to, ever get around to doing it, more than the child, it is our lives that is going to be enriched.

160 comments:

  1. I agree with your thinking that it should really not matter what blood it is. Its not like your own blood is going to turn out like you want! I see many of my mother's friends' who could not have children and who dote on every kid they know yet they wouldn't think of adopting! For similar reasons that you said. If one can change a child's life then there is nothing more blessed than that!

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    1. yeah i know, they just would not consider adoption under any circumstances. it's bit sad M - when there is a solution and we don't take it

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  2. You have raised many pertinent issues in your post.Adoption should be considered only when both husband and wife agree wholeheartedly.This is an essential requirement.I know of one couple deciding to adopt a girl child from an adoption centre.Even before adoption they got their own girl child.Still they adopted another.It stemmed froma desire to give a girl child a secure future and family.Adoption centres are not many and some couples go for a child from amongst relatives, may be because they know the antecedents or wish the wealth to remain within the extended family.
    Begetting or adopting a child as an insurance for old age is foolish.

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    1. i agree - a child as an insurance makes no sense.

      and i am so happy to read about the couple who adopted even after they had their own child. God bless them! :)

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  3. It is true Sujatha, I too have come across some couples who are not open to the idea of adoption and it does not make much sense to me. how the children will turn out to be entirely depends on how they're raised. not on their blood..
    I wish more people thought the same way..

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    1. i sincerely wish so too. thank you Shruthi for reading and sharing your thoughts as well

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  4. The subject has always provoked debate, you have treated it with your usual sensitivity:)

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  5. Wonderful post..! having a child of their own is something that touches the pride of a parent.. and when they cant have one.. this frustrates them, may be that is why people try and try harder paying so much to hospitals..
    Adaption as u said is a sensitive topic some of the habits/thoughts we learn from our ancestors die hard..! but adapting a child should not be considered a sacrifice.. if the parents think so they are actually doing a sin to the child.. for they can never love the child if they consider it a service..
    I have rambled a lot havent I? the reason is.. ur post makes me think a lot and lot..!! keep writing such excellent thought provoking posts dear!

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    1. thank you KP.
      yeah if we think of it as 'sacrifice' then it defeats the whole purpose. and i too agree with the ego thing that you explained so well. i think that is a huge deterrent

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  6. If you see adoption trends,people from other countries are far better in the sense they have outgrown this 'blood concept'.Many Americans routinely adopt babies from china,the one-child policy there helping to push the trend.Our narrow mindedness is something that we are to be ashamed of.

    But it is a little more tricky than that,if you have one biological and decide to adopt one,rather than adopting because of biological reasons.Can you love both equally?...scary questions.I admire those who can honestly say Yes.

    To feed your paranoia about 'Evil' children due to bad genes,I recommend this movie:P A movie far ahead of its time,it will chill you to the bone:-)

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048977/

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    1. definitely - it is no mean feat to raise two kids - one biological & the other adopted. sibling rivalry/their impressionable age are issues one must have the maturity to handle because comments/reactions can get colored and the children will be impacted one way or the other.

      ok now that last line (about the movie) is scaring me already!

      thanks Arumugam for coming over to read this post and contributing to the discussion. your appearance on the blog is so rare & sudden that i always wonder, "hmmm maybe this particular topic made him to respond" :)

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    2. Well,irrespective of comments,I do follow your blog and read ALL your posts:-)

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    3. really? wow! thank you so much :) i had no idea!

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  7. Though genes play a role in the way a child grows, Much has to be attributed to the environment and the way in which they are brought up. I strongly feel that it is against humanity to treat adopted children differently or even think bad about them, After all even they are human beings, and they're not at fault.

    As for the question of adopting, It has to be done after a deep thinking, looking into the future, coz it is not something you can give up in the middle and more so, one would be spoiling the life of a child, if they adopted without thinking and then decide they can't do it anymore after a few years!

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    1. how true! 'cant give up in the middle' - very well said Ashwini. yes, i second that - careful deliberation is extremely importanat in matters like this

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  8. This is a very pertinent discussion. You made some valid points- even children of our own blood can betray us- and so this thought that only an adopted child will turn against those who raised them is ridiculous.

    My husband's very good friend was adopted- and unfortunately his adoptive parents were not very 'nice' people...gruff, stern, hard to get along with...but I must say, my husband's friend has been the most loyal son a parent could ask for!! He cared for his father until the dying breath and goes out of his way to care for his mom. I wish I could show him as an example to parents who fear adoption- that see, this is an adopted child that has gone well above and beyond anything a parent could ask from a child.

    Of course, there are always other negative examples people will bring up- but referring back to what you said- those negative examples even exist in biological children.

    I have so many friends who have adopted- and I see such positive examples for the family and for the children adopted. My husband and I tried to adopt twice- once in Japan and once in Ghana- unfortunately, both times legal red tape denied us the opportunity- but in both cases God found great homes for the little boys we almost adopted. We didn't want to adopt 'just to adopt'- but because in each case, the little boys we came across needed a home and we were desperately in love with them - I think this is important that the parent who is adopting does not do it just to fulfill some kind of 'obligation'-

    Very good topic!!!

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    1. yes, an attitude of 'obligation' kills the joy and love right away.

      and indeed, your husband's friend is a fine example. God bless him and other wonderful children like him!

      and as for the boys you wanted to adopt, i guess God found a way out of the messy legal complications you faced and gave them good homes. i respect you now a little more after reading how you tried so much to adopt them. you are a very warm and loving person Connie and of course,your husband too, god bless you both:)

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    2. Wow.. Connie.. you and your husband are indeed wonderful people. :) You both have a wonderful heart and am so happy the 2 boys got great homes too.

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  9. I think those who are willing to adopt are great people. I agree how it's not just the child who will benefit but also the parents! A child's character mostly depends on his/her upbringing and surroundings more than genes.

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    1. one such person is right here (the comment above yours) - Anjuli :)

      thank you Sujana for visiting my blog and reading me. appreciate it

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  10. This is such a brilliant post. Not just the way you have handled this topic but just because of the sheer importance of this topic. I have thought about this a lot of times and I have always felt that the relationship between an adopted child and its parents is an even more special one than a blood relation. I would think that the love and affection will be even more in this case (provided as u said the parents happily adopted without any inhibitions).

    And yeah.. I don't think blood has any other color than red. So how a child grows up is mostly related to how it is brought up. I guess we are all so caught up with the idea of leaving our imprint (legacy) on this earth that we forget that just a few billion years ago we were all most probably dust particles and we will probably end up being that again in a few billion years from now.

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    1. wow! the dust particles thing - that is one hugely humbling thought! wish we had more who thought similarly. but i understand that it is asking for too much

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  11. There is no harm in adoption. In fact, it's better to adopt cause there are so many homeless and helpless children who have nobody.
    Great post! I wish people let go of such prejudices.

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    1. me too - these prejudices - what good has ever come off it?

      yes there are SO many out there who have nobody :(

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  12. nice post :) :) the relationship between an adopted child and her parents are portraited well in a tamil movie - Kannathil muthamittaal by Diector Mani Rathnam :) :) adopting a child needs a goooood heart which most people don't have sadly :(

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    1. I have watched that movie - brilliant and very sensitively handled. Mani Sir is just exceptional

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  13. It all depends on how the child is brought up, even I want to adopt a child someday but there are certain pertinent confusions which keeps me thinking, when to tell the child that the adopters are not his biological parents? If that is revealed at a tender age, it might create a huge mental block between the child and the parents and at times break the fragile mind of the child.Your thoughts Sujatha on how to handle this situation?

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    1. :( i have no idea actually Arnab i mean i am not an expert or counselor or no real experience in this matter

      but from my heart what i feel is, it's better to say it from the beginning itself - i mean as early as possible.

      if I ever adopt,i will adopt a slightly older child and will treat the child as a 'friend' first rather than "daughter" so that the relationship develops naturally without any pressure and slowly she will respond to me as a mother because ultimately she can see that i am loving her as a mother and i am her friend also

      Arnab,i am not very sure whether it is the right approach but i feel children respond to genuine affection very well and if they know the truth from us it is better for them than hearing it from some nasty people from the streets or their mean friends or something

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  14. Courage and sensitivity required is very true. But is our family also accept them..?? Big question. Family means immediate uncle and aunts. Because we have been brought up in such environement. Dont know what their reaction. Because it will affect both child and parent. Some People know that they cannot have children. They should definitely adopt. It is a win-win situation. But they do keep cribbing. I don't know I have a courage to adopt or not. Am in state of 50-50.

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    1. if it is a very very close-knit family & the members are dead against it, then one must take time to either win them over or let them understand you. if it fails completely, then its better to not go ahead with it.

      for me, what would be important is if there are 3 people living under one roof they all must be ok with the decision. the outer circle of extended relatives & their negative opinions i should learn not to care or be able to handle well.

      but never ever should someone go for adoption for the sake of it. one must really really really feel it in one's heart first

      have you watched Stuart Little the movie?

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    2. Nope. But at the end of the day it is Husband and Wife call for married case and Individual call for single. But kid needs both Mom and Dad.

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    3. exactly - that's what i am saying - the couple needs to concur - the rest of the entourage and their consent is secondary but if someone feels, like you wrote, that family includes "immediate uncles & aunts" and wonders about "their reaction" then that person needs to weight everything really well before taking a decision

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  15. I certainly support and welcome adoption and think it is a very noble decision to do. While I think that your post addresses the question of why not adoption, and breaks the thought of "my blood"; I have a few questions for you.

    1. Do you believe in genetic traits passing over? I am not touching on health issues, but just on traits. Would you be okay to adopt a child that was born in tragic conditions?

    2. What is your take on telling the child about its birth?

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    1. i am repeating what i wrote to Arnab above:

      "":( i have no idea actually i mean i am not an expert or counselor or no real experience in this matter"

      but from my heart what i feel is:

      1. An easy answer would be 'yes' But though i want to adopt, i haven't really thought it in such great detail as yet. I mean, i will go with the flow. The day i visit an orphanage/hospital/adoption center, and instantly feel an affinity or affection towards a particular child, i would let That be the deciding factor. but at the same time, if the authorities brief me about the child's tragic background, it will only help me to understand that i need to be little bit more empathetic and the way i respond to him or interact with her should have that touch of "its ok. we are in this together. everything will be fine as long as we are together"

      2. i will tell the child that he didn't come from my body the way my daughter did. and if i know about his parents, then i think, the age of the child, the conditions under which he was put up for adoption, whether his parents are dead or alive, all that will go into how i take him into confidence and slowly, gradually make him aware

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  16. Sujatha, it is a complicated decision and both partners must be sure about it. That said, it is more common these days among city folks. And, the actual deterrent is the crazy adoption procedure. I know of 3 cases in my own life where people have adopted kids. Two of them could have their own. About the farmer's wife, she thinks this way due to conditioning and her upbringing. She belongs to a village after all. Steve Jobs is a prime example, adopted, he went on to become one of the greatest in the world. I believe a child is a mixture of genes and upbringing. And, there are complications when the child finds out if he/she is adopted. If you read Steve Jobs's biography, you will see how he suffered with this knowledge even though his parents were the best possible. So, if I can have kids, I would prefer to have my own. If I couldn't, I surely would have considered adoption.

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    1. that's what Rachna - i have Tanvi but if i wasn't able to have her, then surely i would have gone for it too. i've read/heard about couples who had medical complications and yet even into their late 50's or 60's considered the possibility of adoption as 'hideous'. i mean they would rather cry themselves to sleep every night missing a child in their lives but NOT adopt. and some are so rich and educated too yet they feel this huge vacuum and yet would never ever think of adoption. surely it cant be that bad an option. and yes, i completely agree - the two involved in this decision must be on the same page

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  17. One of my friend has adopted a baby girl. It was a very long process. But it worth as they are very happy with the kid.

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    1. hearing about your friend brought a smile to my face. god bless them all Rajesh!

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  18. Sujatha, a lovely post as usual from you. Most of us forget that Lord Krishna was born to Devki and raised by Yashoda ! We just do symbolic worships and never try to understand what all this rich culture has taught us..

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    1. what a beautiful example you gave Sir! our religious texts and stories have everything in them but as you said, we only do symbolic worship. the richness of the values taught through them is not imbibed. kaaash, i had thought of Krishna while writing the post and mentioned him
      thank you so much Sir - it was a very good value addittion

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  19. 1. I am so happy to read something written on this topic! :)
    2. I personally always felt that I could happily adopt kids and live the way I always wanted, because, clearly for me, the only motivation to get married would be to have kids, and nothing else! :D
    3. About the financial aspects, it's hands down true, and I wouldn't lie, that there are many people whom I know, do not have kids, are financially super independent and still they don't want to adopt because of all the pure blooc, own blood deal!
    4. My inspiration is sushmita sen, wish I could get close to what she is, in all senses ;)
    5. Lovely post.. I am touched! :)

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    1. :)) for the points system :D

      1. thank you
      2. hahah really? hey marriage is not THAT bad dear
      3. yes, that sucks - the own blood deal
      4. respects to her! absolutely!
      5. thank you

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  20. Wow... loved the post... i ve always wanted to adopt a baby when i marry! But my theory for adopting is totally weird! Well, its too long to explain.. so m thinking i ll write a post about it myself and then send u the link..! U tell me what u think about that! ;-)

    Leavin that aside, i really wish you get to adopt a baby soon... for that baby will b really happy to have u as a mother. Amen.

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    1. sure - i will read that post. i am already curious to know what are those "weird" reasons :)

      as for the last line, well Sathya is dead against it & so:((

      btw, just so you know, i have a 5 & a half year old daughter

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  21. I am touched too Suhatha!
    Adoption is a very vast thing, it needs lots of forethought, patients and guts to answer everyone.

    This is the most blessed thing one can be doing, giving a whole new life for someone who has lost hope of love, care and affection for no mistake of theirs!

    I have seen directly in the eyes of such children who are waiting to be hugged cared and loved!

    All I can tell you is giving birth is a divine thing but treating and caring someone who is not really yours is something out of this world!

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    1. wow - to see into their longing eyes is quite something Ramya!
      i was moved by that line "...eyes of...children who are waiting to be hugged cared and loved!" it's so hard

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  22. Thought provoking post... written with utmost sensitivity!! But the decision to adopt has to be not only with the consent of both- the husband and wife, but the entire family, esp. the to-be grandparents need to be counselled as well,for the psychological well- being of the adopted child.

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    1. agree - counselling works for everyone concerned. and if it is a joint family,then grandparents/uncles/aunts need to be taken into consideration too
      but if it a nuclear family, and the couple is absolutely sure about it, then i feel waiting their entire life to convince the grandparents/uncles/other relatives may not work

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  23. I know many many couples who have adopted. They make a happy family. In my opinion, people from my Grandmother's generations and paranoids think like that. A child brings warmth in your family. Also, even own blood can kick you out of the house. There is no warranty that comes with your biological child.

    I am open to adoption if there be any need in future and so is my husband. It's like each one of us will be getting what is missing in our lives. But, one thing which I want to share is my friend was adopted by her maternal uncle and when after 12 years they had their own kids...They din't behave nicely with her after that...

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    1. yes Saru, that is the exact sentiment - that "each of us will get what is missing in our lives". you have expressed it quite simply.

      about your friend, it is very sad and it is her own maternal uncle! feel very "paaapaa" for her ....paaapaa means in kannada like Empathy

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  24. This is a very sensitive topic and as always you have handled the issue with such maturity. :)

    "What triumphs ultimately - our genes or the way we are raised?"

    While reading the post, it reminded me of an old Rajkumar movie called Bettada Huli. In that movie a dacoit raises a Police Officer's son (Rajkumar) and the Police Officer raises the dacoit's daughter. While both children are unaware of who their real Father is until they reach their adulthood. While growing up, the dacoit raises the Police Officer's son to be a dacoit (to be his heir) but no matter what the son turns out to be a do-gooder, a gentleman. He is absolutely against crime or any sort of violence. In fact he fights crime in disguise. On the other hand the Police Officer who raised the dacoit's daughter observes his daughter is very much interested in reading crime novels and stuff and she even commits a crime.

    Why am I saying all this stuff? I am trying to make a point that the parents who fear their adopted child might grow up to be 'evil' may very well be justified to a certain extent at least. They might think how the child is brought up may not always how they end up becoming. How they turn up to be as adults may be according to their genes. So I say the parents who refused to adopted a child may have some justification after all.

    I do agree children sometimes will end up treating their own parents much much worse. So who am I to say otherwise?

    A brilliant, thought provoking post. :)

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    1. that movie is a very relevant example you gave there Akshay

      in the case of the 70 year old woman, she was repeatedly trying to conceive from her youth and at age SEVENTY she goes for a complicated procedure like IVF with so much financial strain.
      i feel surely adoption is a good option in cases like this

      thank you Akshay for trying to post your thoughts despite the link problem yesterday

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  25. While the fear of genetic factors is always there, if that was a consideration why do parents send their children to the best schools? Teach the best of values? Guide them to develop best of hobbies, etc? Why not just leave it to the genes and keep quiet?

    Obviously, every parent knows that their way of upbringing matters. And that's why they focus so much on it. So, even if a kid born in tragic circumstances (rapist, thief, etc) is brought up well, they will definitely behave properly. Why did the person become a rapist, thief in the first place? Was it written in their genes? Definitely not. Its most probably because of the way in which they were brought up and the misguided values they were made to believe in.

    Let us take the case of biologically born children. Are they 100% GEMS? I mean, look around you - Which biologically born child (now adult) are you proud of? Come up with 10% of the people you know, and I will be surprised!

    The biggest hurdle to adoption is the attitude of the spouse/ immediate family. Red tape is always there, but it is required to turn-off non-serious adopters.

    I would definitely want to have a kid (either adopted or biological) not because the kid will take care of us in the old age/ is a bundle of joy or other reasons like that. But more because its my duty and responsibility to bring up at least one kid (as someone brought be up), as the kids cannot fend for themselves when young. That's what living in society is all about - Helping others and getting helped by others.

    And trust me when I say this - Paying back (for support received) automatically happens. Its Karma, and no one can escape it, irrespective of how much they try to consciously avoid doing it.

    Destination Infinity

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    1. :) the first para brought a smile on my face. i mean, i didn't think on those lines. you brought that out really well Rajesh

      and yes, i guess ultimately karma catches up with us

      about red-tape, hmmm yeah maybe that is also true

      thank you so much for such a detailed response :)

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  26. wonderful post!..many people in my circle have adopted from orphanages..and living happily..but so many times friends and relatives make it very embarassing by asking..this is the child they adopted..or something like that everytime they meet..they nevr let the couple forget.

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    1. you know Renu that is a very important thing you mentioned. it is so so harsh and insensitive of people sometimes to say or do such things. what do they get from it? why do they do that? even when they know a small child's feelings are getting hurt? and also hurting the couple too in the process? i never understand them and usually i react angrily or violently with such people which i know is wrong. we must learn to handle them smoothly. but.....its really bad. i don't like them.

      maybe some are doing it without their knowledge but still...it causes so much pain

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  27. I know of two families who have adopted male children from an orphanage (POONA). Both the children adopted very well with the new family and vice versa. Yes, people were looking weirdly at the family for some years but now they are used to the children. One of them is married also and that too, inside the family!

    But it is not so easy everywhere. Yes, even biological child don't come out as the parents expect them to be and the children don't take care of their biological parents in most cases. So much differences can be seen in children born to the same parents. Taking care of the parents is like an agreement. Both sides should adjust and know the problems of each other. So, adopted child or biological child doesn't make much difference.

    I wonder how the 70 year old parent will bring up the small child. Isn't it wrong on the part of them? The child might have problem too. I shudder to think about it.

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    1. those two families are inspiring examples Sandhya :) god bless them! and marriage within the family - touching! there sure are lot of good people around us

      yeah, the Femina couple - they both are so frail and weak - physically. i too wondered how they will meet the taxing demands of raising a child. sigh!

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  28. I know a family that was childless but decided against adopting children. The wife used to be under constant anxiety of what will become of them when they get old but was also scared about the dangers of adopting a child out of blood line and the mixture of the pressures from both arguments took a toll on her and she suffered paralysis and eventually died.

    Nothing can be termed right or wrong about her decision. It is just her suffering that pained me.

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    1. yeah who can say what is right or wrong. but....the way she must have been in pain all her life...its very sad

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  29. when v c criminal tendencies in a child-rather youth i should say ;v immediately tend to blame the parents for negligent or faulty upbringing....but if v look closely another sibling could be a very good citizen..now both the kids recieved similar nurture...many teachers & school principals too have told me that some kids just refuse to tread the straight path...there is something definitely to genetic influences....upbringing often fails in front of heredity.

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    1. hmmmm....that made me stop and ponder....

      i feel a childless couple who have a strong desire to have a child can always take time/effort/study/research and then zero in on a particular child. behavior patterns of a prospective child can be studied and if one is not sure or has even the slightest doubt, can reconsider the decision to adopt that particular child

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    2. mostly people prefer to adopt infants so there is no scope to study their behavior & no info is given about the baby's antecedents---quite rightly too.hence it is a hope that their rearing will win over whatever negativity might have been there ;which propels adopters....mostly they do succeed.

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    3. aaah! the last line provided the much needed ray of hope :)
      thanks Indu

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  30. Very thoughtful post.. Everyday we get to hear so many cases where the own child or say own blood kills its parents or treat them badly.. But even then people still believe in own blood and otr blood philosophy. It was s good read:)

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    1. yeah i wonder why we are so obsessed with our blood! :(

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  31. Where is the guarantee that their own child will not throw them out ! Also may be an adopted one may prove more obedient, caring and loving like the mythological Shravan Kumar !
    This fear defies logic and seems unfounded !

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  32. I know some couples who have adopted, and also know a lot of parents who have been betrayed by their 'own blood'.
    Adoption or not, really is a ridiculous way to decide how or kids would turn out eventually!!

    Even when I was in college, I used to think of adopting.. I even told my husband, that if the first born is not a girl, I may adopt one. He still thinks I m bluffing, but I am really serious! But yes, it is really has to be a joint decision..

    Introspective topic, an excellent write up, and totally worth the wait!(you dont seem to post on sundays anymore?)

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    1. A child can make a difference in a couple's life. Only after having a child, the couple get to understand the meaning of the word 'responsibility' very well. So, everyone must think about inheritance across generations if not by natural means, then atleat by adoption option!!!!

      Delete
    2. Jenny,
      yes it HAS to be a joint decision. it just CANNOT work without both of them feeling same way about it.

      haha yeah that sunday ritual got broken with the last post :( i just couldn't find time to write last time & things went from sunday to thursday !!
      btw, that is the sweetest thing i heard from a reader so far. i mean i take it as a huge compliment that someone noticed the particular "day" i post :)) thanks dear

      Delete
    3. Sriram,
      yeah true, a child can and does make a difference
      thanks Sriram

      Delete
  33. One of my colleagues is trying to have a baby from 10 yrs, and yet refuses to adopt because of social stigma..!..her mother-in-law is scared that the baby will be from a different community..it is so stupid!

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    1. god!! why!! i mean, why not!!! struggling from ten years and yet dont want to adopt! what community yaar! 10 years is a lifetime :(

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  34. If only people take the idea of adoption seriously so many homeless children will have a better home, I have a plan too I will adopt a child one day.

    People have the age old sentiments of having a boy to carry on the name thats all it is , the same boy when he grows up thrown them out of the house or treats them like dirt ..

    Good thoughtful post ...

    Bikram's

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    1. Amen to that first para Bikram! Wish more of us thought on those lines. and god bless you!

      Delete
  35. Beautiful post, very sensible and thought provoking.

    The concept of blood, pure blood is a very compelling thought. It all finally boils down to one truth which the article establishes.

    Beautiful article. Very inspired and very inspiring..

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    1. thanks a lot for - visiting my blog, reading this post, responding to it & saying such lovely words.
      appreciate it

      dhanyavadagalu :)

      Delete
  36. Excellent post and very thought provoking. Adoption is still largely taboo in India. We do hear of couples adopting but this is restricted to a few in metros. Adoption is a more recent concept though we do hear of adoptions in history - though such adoptions are restricted to close relatives like nephews or nieces(own flesh & blood.
    Those who do go ahead and adopt a strange kid(parentage unknown) are indeed very brave and need to be commended and complimented. At the same time we cannot criticize those who take measures to have their own off spring - it is very difficult to overnight change traditions/practices/attitudes that have prevailed for centuries. It may yet take several decades/generations to revolutionize such broad mindedness amongst a larger cross section of society.

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    1. that's right Sir - a change in mindset takes several generations sometimes. i have nothing against those who desire their own offspring.it is but a natural human desire. my only feeling is when someone has tried ALL they can, spent 10 years or 20 years or even 30 years waiting for the miracle of a biological child,spent their lifetime's savings for medical procedures, why is it that adoption never crossed their mind? or why is it that it has such a stigma attached to it in their minds? after all, it lends meaning to the lives of both the parties - the child & the parents

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  37. A lovely article. Very sane thoughts.

    I personally cannot adopt a child simply because I know I won't have the patience to look after a child. I live what people would think an "abnormal" life. So I cannot write in defence of adoption though I know it's a noble thing to do if one can, as you say, accept it at both the intellectual and emotional levels.

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    1. i understand Matheikal if one feels that he or she doesn't have what it takes to raise & bring up a child for whatever personal reasons. fair enough. respect you for that.
      in fact, knowing oneself and one's limitations and thereby not doing something as big as adopting a child is way better than doing it for the "sake of it" and messing two lives - the child's and our own.

      the only thing i feel is when someone has been trying to have a child literally forever, spends her lifetime waiting/suffering, spends all her resources including huge amounts of money, and yet never once considers adoption as an alternative.

      Delete
  38. Well written article. Thought provoking. I personally have a experience when I heard a bachelor lamenting about law preventing him from adopting a child. He was unmarried due to early demise of his father and the responsibilities prevented him from getting married. Now, having crossed his marriageable age, he wants to adopt a child. A well read and well settled person, his genuine interest is unacceptable. If the idea is to assure good foster parents for the child, what good is it to allow a couple without concurrence to adopt a kid? Wish better sense prevails in implementing the adoption process.

    Best
    Katie

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    1. thank you so much Katie for reading the post and sharing your views. appreciate it :)

      i have heard that the adoption laws/rules are quite complex and one of the factors that dissuades people to go with it and the instance you provided seems to be just one of them

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  39. One common thing I find in most of the adoption cases is -Parents adopt children and children are not "biological" kids of theirs so one has to remember that at somepoint of his/her life he/she will go in search of his/her "biological parents" .I mean ,parents who opt for adoption should thoroughly weigh the pros and cons of an adoption. I'm not being discouraging but there many emotionally disturbed kids out there who happen to be adopted. It's not like they want to be in that phase but it's all part of the package.But if they are brought up really well with lotsa warmth ,love and affection then I'm sure they'll carry less emotional baggages.But carrying the little emotional baggage is inevitable.

    But I'm sure parents like you will do everything a child deserves; a life of fulfillment of his/her emotional desires to a large extent,Sujatha!! :) And yes,you are correct,its a joint decision without which it can turn into a horrendous nightmare!!

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    1. of course Jen anything as big as this has its own set of issues/problems/concerns. and only a truly mature person can handle the situation as complex as this one

      and if not thought out well, as you said, a "horrendous nightmare" is what happens

      thanks for reading Jen and adding to the discussion here :)

      Delete
  40. I think giving birth and bringing up a child is ultimate for any woman. It's all about that emotional attachment :)

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  41. It needs a lot of maturity, counselling, preparedness and willingness to sacrifice before deciding on adoption. The rules are made strict deliberately. Only those with perseverance should ultimately win in this mission!

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    1. that's true Sibi it does need preparedness and some extent of counselling

      Delete
  42. Hey sujatha, here's a fun award for your blog-http://titli15081977.blogspot.in/2012/02/liebster-blog-award.html

    Cheers!!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Wonderful choice of topic and I have to add you have handled the facts very skilfully.

    The Nature Vs Nurture is a debate that is both perennial and is as old as the pyramids. I do agree that both partners should be consenting not just emotionally but logically and realistically as well; else what is left are 3 unhappy people instead of 2.

    In my opinion the trickiest part in the entire adoption cycle is breaking the news to the child you have painstakingly cared for and given a piece of your heart to.

    Cheers :)

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    1. yes, if not thought out carefully, it can very easily turn into a situation where we have 3 sad people instead of one

      thanks for your comment

      Delete
  44. I believe apart from deeply rooted socio-religious notions, this has a strong psychological and probably a biological angle too. Not that those who are opposed to adoption will be dispassionate or cruel to a child thus introduced in their lives. On the contrary, they may get greatly attached to the adopted ward and develop deep bonds that they wouldn't believe was possible.

    The desire to produce a copy of self has been genetically hard-coded in all of us. It is apparently a joy to see small copies of self toddling, prattling and growing day by day. Many times the children bear striking similarity to their parents and they may feel their childhood, adolescence and youth being replayed.

    Yet, the extreme case that mention reduces a vital natural process to a farce. Surrogate pregnancies could be another distorted method to populate the family. And I am sure even mother nature didn't mean it to be that way. I would say in cases such as these adoption is a far better, nobler and a lot cleaner option.

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    1. loved your second para and it is very true in all our lives - to see small copies of oneself :)
      thanks for sharing your views here Umashankar and adding your perspective

      Delete
  45. Knock knock!! :) Here I come again :)!!

    Sujatha ,I'd love you to check Your Tag!! on my blog!! :)

    Hope you have lotsa fun doing it!! :)

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  46. Very Good post.

    A child is a child - no matter own or adopted. Only those who can see and sense the innocence in any child should attempt adopting I think.


    Thinking about that farmer my doubt is if he will live long enough to raise the child till he is fully grown. At 70 better be childless rather than have one and leave him half developed and depart this earth? :)

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    1. i wondered about that too Jaish - their old age & the responsibilities of raising the child. They said in the interview that "some family member or the other would look after the child if they were to go"

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  47. Replies
    1. thank you Vasanth :)
      welcome to "Conversations"

      Delete
  48. Thought provoking post.Adoption is a noble act and can be done only by persons who have affectionate heart.

    Like all topics/issues adoption too have its own share of pros and cons.Every person should adopt one orphan child and treat him/her at par with their biological child..World would become a better place to live.

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    1. that's true Vinod - this too has its pros and cons and must not be rushed into

      thanks for your comment

      long time no new post from you?

      Delete
  49. I do agree with the point you mention. No doubt your views are facing the right direction! :-)

    But honestly, I'm surprised that you've used the example of a poor farmer and his poor wife, who I'm guessing are far from having an iota of education or exposure to options.
    I'm even more surprised that your readers do not even mention this in their comments!
    Don't you think that although your argument is correct, its based on a cracked foundation? In a country like India, let's not even mention rural India...in urban India, more than 50% of women are not educated or given proper guidance, and you're talking about adoption in a poor farmer's family?
    I personally think this would have made better case if the family was an affluent and educated one.

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    1. thank you for your comment Amrita.

      that example was something that set me thinking. that's all. as you can see, i made a mention of the magazine including the issue date. it was a 'trigger' & in no way negates what you rightly pointed out in your feedback that affluent & educated families are wary of adoption too. i know that certain social issues and awareness around them does not have much to do with literacy/education levels. i mean, as an educated person i could be just as, if not more, prejudiced than an illiterate person

      as for the statement, "your readers do not even mention this in their comments!" i think you ought not to have ventured there. it is up to each reader how he or she wishes to respond to a post, any post. I as the writer & you as just another reader have no right to comment on their judgment or
      their responses. You made your point & gave your feedback about the post,i appreciate that a lot but leave the other readers out of your comment.

      Delete
  50. You've got a surprise.. Check out..

    http://miracleshappen13.blogspot.in/2012/02/wow-now-im-versatile-too.html

    ReplyDelete
  51. For a couple who cannot have a child, adoption is like an open door.. I also don't believe in family blood, true blood, blood relation philosophy.. A child is a child.

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    1. wohi toh! it's an "open door" wonder why many don't even give it a chance even in their thoughts

      Delete
  52. It's a debate between the heart & mind. And you are right, when one does it , it's got be from the heart. Nice post, you had touched upon every aspect of adoption quite well.

    Now, you have been tagged
    http://intertwinedthoughts.blogspot.com/2012/02/tagged-tag-thon.html

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    1. it is indeed a tussle. thanks for the comment Divya and yeah for the tag as well :))

      Delete
  53. An open door issue, to be dealt with an open mind. Beautifully written topic, handled with sensitivity. Most of the comments have dealt with valuable suggestions and views.
    Came via indiblogger , today.
    Yes, the glaring issue is why affluent families do not adopt, and enrich their lives? They are insecure and do not want to think beyond their comfort zones. Fine,they can do another small offer. They can support any adoption homes of their choice, make visit there, give freely, their love and time.

    Those kids need some affection, may be only for few hours a week,, those who look after them need some time-off too.

    It all takes a little effort,and little opening of the heart gates. There is nothing between a child and adult that cannot be dealt with affection, whoever it is.

    Thanks.

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    1. Thanks a lot for coming over to read the post. Appreciate it a lot that you took the time to read and also express your thoughts here.

      Affluent, educated families have a greater social responsibility on their shoulders simply because they 'can'. The only hitch is if they want to or not. and herein comes the point that you raised and i completely agree - sometimes all it takes is a few hours & like you said, its true that most adoption homes are in dire need of both financial and moral assistance. And the children - for them - a little attention, a little affection is all they ask. A little effort on our part goes a long way. thank you for adding this point too here

      Delete
  54. I do agree with the point you mention.
    But I am not surprised that the poor farmer and his wife thought so... many of us from so called educated people also think so.

    Good point.

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    1. that's the pity Nisha- that even many educated people don't give adoption a chance even after having exhausted all means/ways of trying to have a biological child. like someone wrote above, a couple has been trying for the past 10 years to have a child. if only, once at least once,they could look at the option of adopting

      thank you for reading the post and for the views too

      Delete
  55. Nice and thought provoking post but its the reality most of the people wants to see the tiny form of their blood rather than adopting someone who is in need...The process to adopt a child is also a uphill task, normal middle class cant fullfill the parameter of adoption...

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  56. Mithlash, thanks for your comment. yeah true,we all want to have our own children. its natural to feel so. but like i wrote for Nisha above, a couple has been trying for the past TEN years to have a child. if only, once at least once,they could look at the option of adopting

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  57. Different people have different stamina to try but dont worry the day will come when they will think of this option till then let their patience exhaust..

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    1. yes, that is the thing - stamina/patience levels differ - you put it nicely. thanks :)

      Delete
  58. very well written and ppl who have suffered also get chance to prove...

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    1. thank you Ruchi for reading the post and for the comment :)

      Delete
  59. Last yr a friend and hus visited me with their infertility probs (that's not my specialty- but I get to deal them at times). They came with a report that didn't leave even a slightest possibility (unless they were millionaires). I gave them a clear cut picture on the status and finally opened up the topic of adoption being a better option.
    Before I could complete, my friend screamed "NO, we will not adopt". She turned a little uneasy and with difficulty she put forward the question if her spouse can have a baby with another women. She was ready to get divorced so that her husband could marry again and have a child but not consider adoption and stay together.
    That's the way things are!

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    1. see, THIS is what i don't understand at all!! i mean, a woman who is ready to divorce/share her husband with someone else and yet not even let a doctor complete the sentence about adoption! we have a long way to go Leo - as a society, as humans

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  60. As I think about the issue, I feel they are scared of the fact about letting the child know that the kid is adopted. The reaction may be positive or negative. That is the scariest phase. What if he/she abandons us? The pain involved then. Escapism.

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    1. that's true - that pain, that trauma is a very real one & it's only human to go through those thoughts/phase/fears. i only wish Sahana that when we have a medical case as described above by Leo Paw, people would give adoption at least a last chance.
      thanks for reading Sahana :)

      Delete
    2. Don't thank me for reading everytime. It is a pleasure to read your blog. I will start thanking you for writing a post every time :-D Let me know if you are ok with it? Ok. I know I took a lot of time to read your posts, but I make it a point to read all yours.

      Delete
    3. hehehhehe ok ok....point taken :)

      Delete
  61. Adoption sure is not easy. You so rightly said..don't our own treat us bad. I think it all depends on the upbringing. Trust your ability to nurture a healthy child in mind and spirit.Deciding too does not come easy. My sister has a adopted daughter and the bond between them is amazing. One needs to be strong within.

    Glad to have found you. Your newest follower and a regular visitor now.
    Cheers,
    Kajal

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    1. God bless your sister and her child Kajal! it was heart-warming to read about them

      Delete
  62. Hey I have something for you on my blog. Please come and collect it. I hope you like it too :)

    ReplyDelete
  63. Made me think for about five mins before commenting. :P
    Had never thought of it before...A child is a child no matter what...How can you predict that he will grow to be undeserving one day?? :P
    Some things will never change and maybe this is one of them. :P

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    1. yes, i am not too optimistic either that things will change in the near future. :(

      thank you Vinay for reading the post and for responding too. appreciate it

      Delete
  64. We all have known that many times children have ill treated parents and thrown them out. How many of such cases have been of adoptees? Not many. Some people just linger in their narrow lanes. I have always believed more in environmental influence on child rather than the genetic though we cannot rule out inbuilt character totally. I have two kids of my own, but all three of us seriously ponder over adopting another kid into our family. Only we are afraid how my husband would respond to the child as he is the one who says 'woh hamaara khoon nahin hai'.

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    1. that is truly amazing that even your kids would love to bring in a new member. god bless you all!

      but yes, what our spouse feels in a matter as serious as this one counts way more than anything else. Sathya too is against adoption especially since we have a child already.

      thank you for reading the post and commenting too

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  65. The difficult situation of letting the child know that he/she is adopted is inevitable. ...
    My aunt's daughter is an adopted child and she is 20 now. she is yet to know the truth. And aunt is plain scared if she will go in search of her real parents once confronted with reality...

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    1. wow your aunt is an amazing woman! god bless her and her daughter too.

      but Jane, she is 20 now. why hasn't she been told about it in all these years?

      and how come none of the relatives/friends/neighbors made a reference to it? surprising!

      Delete
    2. Yes, my aunt is an amazing and strong woman; she is a widow and brought up the kid all by herself.... Yes, it is high time she knew the truth. But aunt doesn't have the guts..And our relatives/friends everyone considered her as our own child that none tried to destroy the happiness... but now, everyone is asking aunt to reveal it before its too late.

      Delete
    3. i think this is the first time i have heard of relatives who DID NOT "try to destroy the happiness" and "considered her as our own child" and the first time i am forced to say, "wow, you guys are seriously great" for relatives. some really rare and sensitive souls. god bless!

      Delete
  66. Phenotype = Genotype * Environment , is very popular equation in Genetics . Phenotype is actually expression of Character , Genotype is genetic information of individual and environment is micro climate in which an individual grows . You cannot change the Genotype but one can always amend the environment to get better phenotype .

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    1. all this is new to me - the equation, the terms. thanks for sharing that. and i like the positive note with which it ends. plus it explains why sometimes even "good parents" can have "bad" children

      Delete
  67. Adopting is always a big decision. And I think, the consent and support of both the parents is absolutely necessary. And may be also of the extended family, if the child is going to spend time with them. The child is very sensitive and he/she can easily sense if some members of the family are treating him any different from others. If you have confidence in upbringing your child (adopted or otherwise), then they will always respect you. If children see their fathers disrespecting their grand parents, may be, once he grows up, he will do the same. The genes control the behavior, yes, but may be only to an extent. The environment plays a big part too.

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    1. yes it is a VERY big decision. and needs to be both 'felt' from the heart and 'thought' from the brain
      and support from family is a blessing

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  68. adoption its very difficult one to make as one has to get the support of family and then society which may not support.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Well said Sujatha! Purity is such an illusion. The only way it makes sense is if we agree that ultimately we all do trace back to our original ancestor in Africa.

    I did a blog post where the theme of blood flowing through our veins - literally and metaphorically - came up. If you're interested, the link's below.

    http://the-long-walk-home.blogspot.com/2011/11/when-bodyguard-becomes-saviour-and.html

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    1. thanks for the link Manreet. will read that post surely. and yes, purity is an illusion

      Delete
  70. HAd read the same article in Femina and you have dealt the issue of Adoption beautifully.
    Raising a child is no joke...Bache palte nahin paalne padte hain.(we have nurture children they don't grow on their own) Realizing this how many mothers have given up their career.. or put in hold.
    Adoption..a very serious topic..hats off to those people who can do it. I sometimes get angry at my own children..others one..I don't have that courage..

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    1. true, it's not easy at all and only if one feels the calling one must go for it but for childless couples who have been trying from almost 10-15 years, it surely is a good option

      Delete
  71. its a good option but the legal hassles have become in the wake of selling of children outside india. for the couples residing outside india its very difficult. but if its a joint decision it should be easy. one more aspect to this is after adoption and some years later if they have a child of their own it needs a lot of effort not to create uneveness in upbringing of both.

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    1. you are absolutely right - if years later if the couple have their own child then things can change, so they must be very very sure about their decision

      thank you Gopinath for reading older posts of the blog. appreciate your time

      Delete
  72. Yes there is so much of stigma surrounding adoption. I've also thought about adoption and my husband is not against it. But I want to be really sure if I can do it, I need to be certain that I have it in me to love the child as my own - else it wouldn't be fair to the child.

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    1. yeah correct - if it is not going to do any good to the child,it is just not worth it. i mean this is not one of those social service schemes. like you said, one has to be really sure because people and hearts & emotions are involved in this

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