Every child begins the world again…. ~Henry David Thoreau
Continuing with the previous post.. adoption is a very complex and sensitive issue. Not just due to the procedural complexities, but owing to the emotional and human rights issue concerned. Why do I say that human rights is concerned? Because a child who is adopted may not be fully aware of what she or he will be experiencing and what he/she is agreeing to. Plus there maybe a lot of mental baggage/issues which has not been dealt with before and the child may not be aware of. Further, an onus of great responsibility falls on the adoptive parents. The adoptive parents have to bear the greater brunt of responsibility in this relationship. There has to be a Tolerance and acceptance of the differences to an exceptionally high level.
More about adoption
There is evidence that younger children are preferentially adopted as compared to older children with special need. So, age may affect the adoption rate. Adoption at an earlier age, has better impact on the development of the child as compared to children who are adopted at a later age and who remain in foster/orphanage cage for longer time. So this leaves older children at a disadvantage as far as being adopted is concerned. So what can be done for them ?( Figures?)
Who usually adopts children?
Abandoned children grow up in orphanages or with foster parents. Often, foster parents become the adoptive parents. Many times they are relatives, strangers, single parents (nowadays, many are choosing 2 do this).celebrities.
How are adoptive parents and children prepared for this transition.
A very important issue. What is done and what can be done to prepare the participants? communication skills? counselling skills? parenting skills?
. Very important to monitor and assess the emotional and healthy development of adopted children. Parenting per se has many challenges especially when it comes to adolescence. In the case of an adopted child, this is incremented/intensified. The requirement for extra sensitivity and the need for open communication channels at all time, can put an enormous amount of strain on the parents.
Be sensitive to the fact that adopted children will ask and face questions of identity, during their lives, which they have to manage. Identity is a question of paramount importance to all. So the child’s questions should never be turned away. SHould be understood and encouraged.
Parents need to be open to this and be truthful with them. This is more complex when there are more than a single adopted child in the family and when the child is of different race/religion than the adoptive parent. Because, there is now a trend of celebrities going for TRANSRACIAL adoptions, this is critical. How they help the child to accept his background while also helping him feeling valued and loved member of his new family.
Helping them deal with their developing sexuality is another issue as well as dealing with any trauma which they may have undergone during their childhood. Not dealing with issues related to trauma at the earliest, can cause havoc in subsequent relationships. Some of the recognised disorders in traumatised adopted children include Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) ,Oppositional Defiant Disorder (OD) and AntiSocial Personality Disorder (adulthood).Such disorders need professional treatment at the earliest.
Emotion and Health of adoptive parents:
It is very important for the parents to realise , they are humans and not superhumans and it is understandable and okay to feel stressed out and to feel sad at times. It is okay to feel that you are not able to cope with the enormous changes you are going through and the challenge of taking care of a child.What is NOT okay is to keep your pain and your feelings to yourself. You need to be physically and emotionally strong if you want to bring up your child/adopted child in the best possible way.
Do you know that, just like , post partum depression is prevalent in women , following pregnancies, There is POST-ADOPTION DEPRESSION SYNDROME? This is an issue with women who have adopted children and are stressed by the enormous responsibility and suffer symptoms similar to this. Read this link. As a result, many may feel shy of confessing this. It is always important to take HELP at the earliest sign of stress.Both parents and children should not shy away from this.
When it goes wrong….
As mentioned in the previous post, adoptions can go horribly wrong owing to unscrupulous agencies/orphanages. Here are two stories, one with a ghastly ending to the adoption and the other with an unhappy beginning but with a happier ending. A third story, the heartbreaking part of a failed adoption where the parent abandons the adopted child, due to whatever be the reason.
Another reason (thanks to my friends who contributed during the discussion, last post) is when a childless couple decides to adopt a child, following which the mother becomes pregnant. This may lead to serious trauma for the child, if the parents display partiality (even unknowingly)..