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Adoption and Indian Families: The Struggle and Stigma

August 05, 2021

Having a child is one of the major dreams of every couple. But what if the parents are infertile? To have a child, they either opt for adopting or for an assisted reproductive method like test tube baby etc. In Indian families, the value of a child has always been a priority. India is a nation with the youngest population in the whole world, but the children born here are safe.

According to a report by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), India is home to 31 Million orphaned children. India has one of the greatest assets i.e. young man force, but several out of them are stuck in the vicious circle of poverty and hopelessness. Moreover, we can also experience a boost in our population levels.

In India adoption of a child is considered a shameful act. According to several families, the child is a representation of their family lineage. Hence, the child should have the genes of both mother and father. In India adoption of a child was always acceptable but only within extended families. In Indian families, it is quite common for a barren couple to adopt a child of either their cousin or sibling and raise it as their own.

Formal Adoption

The concept of formal adoption came in enactment during the time of the 1920s when due to poverty, war and famines millions of children were abandoned or were orphaned. Hence formal adoption became a pressing need to assist these children to live a good life.

Formal adoption of these children was considered as a need to save these children’s life, hence the British Government announced an act. The Children’s Act was passed under which the adoption of a child not related to one became legal. Now with the announcement of this act, the government expected that there would be a surge in adoption.

But the expectation went to vain when the government observed that adoption was not a cup of tea to Indians. Indians are quite reluctant to adopt the child out of their lineage. Whereas several foreign people had whole-heartedly accepted the Indian abandoned children. But what was the problem with Indians?

Why Are Indians against Adoption?

Indian families being quite concerned about their lineage were reluctant to adopt a child. The whole game revolves around genes. Having the same gene for their family has always been a priority in Indian families. Moreover in Indian culture, blood relation has become a benchmark of considering a child.

Even the child’s identity is also done based on its family and lineage. Now the division of castes in India has always been a deep root reason for several problems in India. Maybe one of the other major reasons behind not adopting a child can be this also. Indians are quite stereotypical and are concerned about the so-called purity of their caste.

As the castes of many abandoned children were also unknown hence the families were quite reluctant to adopt. In India, every year, millions of children are abandoned either due to financial, economic or social problems. The problem is notified more evidently in the case of a girl child. In India, girl children are not accepted by Indian families.

According to the report by Time of India, nine-in-ten of the 11 million abandoned children in India are girls. Now even in Indian movies, it is deeply shown that how a child from the same lineage is considered superior and legitimate to society. In India, a true child is that who have a genetic feature of both mother and father.

In other words mother’s lineage and father’s lineage merge to give a child a strong biological bond. According to a study in India, many barren couples prefer to be childless instead of adopting one. Moreover, those who adopt used to hide this fact to get rid of social judgmental statements. In this era of modernization, we have seen that how people are becoming modern can overcome several social stigmas that are still prevalent in society.

From child marriage to pardah pratha, education assisted to get over all such social stigmas. A bond of child and parent share is considered as one of the best examples of selfless love.

The relation stands based on trust, love, empathy and support. Moreover, we all can also see that how our parents selflessly try their level best to provide us with the best facilities.

The relation pf child is based on the love and the parenting of the parents. In this 21st century, an adopted child can also serve the parents with care and love. Instead of being obsessed with their genes, we have to believe in the bond of love and humanity. The Parent-Child relationship is pure and can never be judged on any ground.

Written by - Ashwin Kalra Edited by - Piyush Pandey

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