Published On: Wed, Jul 10th, 2013

Adopting a Child – Indian Psychology

Adopting a child is a process by which the parents go to an orphanage and select a child. They do all the legal formalities and make a declaration that they will take care of the child and ensure that the child gets a good life. They promise that they will take care of the child as their own. The process of adoption is very popular all across the world.

Even in India many couples have started to adopt a child. We must mention one thing here. Adopting a child in India is more difficult compared to the other countries. Let us try to discuss why in India adoption is not as free and popular as the other countries.

In the USA or the UK the parents can adopt a child even if they have biological children and can have biological children. In India you will not be able to adopt a child if you are biologically capable of having children. Of course there is no legal binding to this effect but generally speaking Indian society has a sort of stigma attached to adoption. Parents adopt a child only as a last option.

Family Adoption in India

In India there is a popular and acceptable method of adoption. This is adoption within the family. This has been happening from the pre independence era. This was when the kings used to adopt sons from friends and family if they did not have a biological child. This was done to get an heir and ensure that the kingdom is protected from the British Empire.

As time moved on the tradition continued and took a new dimension. The rich members of the family would adopt the children of the poor family members. If someone did not have a daughter they would adopt a daughter from a friend or family. This method was successful. As the parents knew that the child was from a good family.

Why Not Adopt an Orphan?

The process of adopting children who were orphans was never popular in India. The myth working behind this belief was that an abandoned child was born to parents who do not have good morality. How can a parent throw away a child? Some would feel that the child was either born to a prostitute or to a mother who was single. If the parents could do such immoral acts then how could their child be any good? Perhaps the child does get the genes of his or her parents. However, moralities and principles are taught and not inherent in the genetic make up a child.

They come from experience. If the child of a saint is kept with a thief he will automatically learn to steal. The fact that he was born to noble parents will not make any difference will it? Similarly if a child of a thief is raised by a saint there are higher possibilities that the child may become a great saint and have high moralities. However, the stigma about adoption is very deep rooted in India. It will perhaps take years to get out of this mental blockage. If we look at it practically we will realise how silly these assumptions actually are.

The Sad Story

There are thousands of children who are abandoned in India every year. Most of the children who are left to die are girls. Girl child is considered as a burden in India. This is because she will have to be married off. In the marriage of the daughter hefty dowry is paid which can be a big burden for a poor father.  These children are picked up by the orphanages. If they are lucky they do find a good family. Else they live a life of an orphan forever.

The orphanages in India are not that well organised and some of them don’t even keep the children well. The government of the country should seriously try to ensure that the children in the orphanages get a good stay and education. It is true that Indians have a stigma to adopting a child and making it their own. However, when it comes to making contributions to the orphanages the Indians always try to do charity. Many Indians give money and other items to the orphanages.

Well this is not enough. There is much more that needs to be done. Some also adopt children and sponsor their studies alone. Charity is considered to be one of the most important things that Hindus can do in order to get rid of sins and attain moksha. This is exactly why people prefer to do a lot of charity to the helpless children. Some orphanages get good funds and they also take good care of the children with the fund received. Well helping a child maybe good but no financial help can take the place of family can it?

Changing with Times

With time the concepts have changed. Many young Indians prefer to adopt children today. Even some celebrities like Salman Khan and Sushmita Sen have adopted girls into their family. Many Indians who cannot have children due to medical complications also look at adoption. Perhaps the Indian mentality is changing. The orphanages and the institutes should perhaps looks at relaxing the adoption rules so that more children can get a better life.

Many families in spite of having one biological child want to have an adopted child too. These parents are also ready to give a part of their property to the children they have adopted. These will ensure that the children get a good security. After all it is the security of the child’s future that is the prime concern to the adoption centres.

Over time India has shed a lot of traditional beliefs and concepts. Like child marriage, no education for women, forcing widows to not get married again, etc. Although the stigma of adoption is deep rooted it is just a mental block. Perhaps India will soon start adopting the millions of poor and orphaned children in the country.

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