By Nalini Ravichandran

It is awesome to have kids, ain’t it? These little beings just bring limitless joy and challenges to our lives. They trigger powerful emotions with their unfiltered minds. In their little company, we are the CEOs. At times, we could feel utterly benevolent about our parental milestones. Kid no one though, having kids is an incredibly self-gratifying deed. But then the greatest discoveries of soothing music, writings, scientific inventions have come from someone being self-seeking at some level. That’s a discussion for another day though.

There is nothing altruist about how we choose to be parents. It is one kind of self-centric to have your gene pool and bloodline on the go by natural birthing, surrogacy, or by trials and tribulations of reproductive technologies, another to complete the family by adoption.  While it’s a herculean task to be a parent, we still can’t afford to be philanthropists in our heads. Because we seek to fill the vacuum in our hearts for a child. A child overwhelms that space and our lives with bliss.

With the boundless love children give us, does it matter whether they come from our wombs or not? For sure, they rule our hearts. And a child’s love is purely unconditional and loaded with no expectations.

Welcome to the world where parents who adopt are either stigmatized or glorified. While the former is evidently disastrous, extolling those who adopt is problematic too. Adoption is definitely a leap ahead. But when you open your heart and home to a child who was put up for adoption, it’s the child that is choosing your family. Not the other way around. The immeasurable joy the child gives you is a life savior. You need it, you get it.

Quite often in a conversation on adoption, certain words pop up such as ‘ lucky, thankful, obligated’.  Looking at adoption as philanthropy will not help the adoptee. And we aren’t making it any easier for the parents who are striving for a seamless transition for their little ones. It derails the parenting process and starts the relationship on an unequal footing. In fact, it is a family’s move to source lifelong happiness and the system just enables it. To adopt is special and so is to be adopted.

Well, for those who come up with statements like

‘wow, you love your kid so much…’, or ‘ where are her/his real parents’,

I would advise a sensitisation course. Neither hatred or anger can help them. We can only feel sorry for them. For they don’t know what true love is. Educate them that the mechanics of birth don’t come in the way of a parent-child love.

While gratitude towards parents could do good for all of us, let us not put an exclusive clause for adoptees. After all, we want emotionally healthy, happy, stress-free kids. Uplift the idea of adoption but blend the kids in.

Neither stigma nor glorification of adoption will aid. Recognise, encourage & normalise adoption. This would help many children and adults out there. At the end of the day, any child is a child and his/her love for the parent, unconditional.

Nalini Ravichandran is a journalist by profession. An alumnus of Kamala Nehru College, Delhi and Asian College of Journalism, Chennai, Nalini has worked as reporter for The New Indian Express, Chennai and covered a wide array of issues in education, health and environment. She then worked with Mail Today, New Delhi as a senior reporter and chief sub-editor where she covered health.  She is currently employed by her two year old naughty son, Ivaan who lets her write when he is busy driving his motorbike and hanging out with his cool friends.


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