Adoption is a topic very close to my heart, not because we chose it but because it’s a beautiful medium to connect the families. Gaurav and I were clear right from the beginning that we were going to have our baby through adoption.  Luckily, by the time we were ready to register, the process had become centralized under CARA, the new online process. After a lot of research, talking to as many heart families as possible and informing both sets of parents, we finally registered in January 2016 and welcomed Raahi home in March 2017. Back then, since the process was new, nobody knew the correct and full process, be it any adoptive parents or SAA (Specialized Adoption Agency), because induction programs were still underway.

When we get into a system, it’s really very important to know the process thoroughly so that we can sync in. We made some mistakes, we had our highs and lows during waiting period, but at the end, it was all worth it totally. Never once during whole waiting period or even later until we received the court order, we felt like blaming the system, may be because we had the smoothest process and a very helpful SAA where we received our referral from.

There are certain points which I find very important for the Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs) to know because at times, they turn really crucial:

  1. Trust CARA website for rules and regulations and don’t hesitate to approach CARA state coordinators at any point of time.

  2. It’s important for the SAA we choose for home study, to be efficient because after we receive referral, it’s that SAA which provides us our original HSR (Home Study Report) which is one of the most important documents during legal petition.

  3. The referral comes based on date of registration (The date on which we upload the documents and choose the preferences)

  4. Choose preferences wisely because there are limited chances of editing profile.

  5. After receiving referral, it’s important to check if the baby is legally free, because this aspect is more important than medical tests.

  6. Take help from CARA officials at any point of time when you find yourself landed in any problem. There is a reason why their contact numbers and email ids are flashed on CARA website so that they can help us with facts rather than us sitting at home and assuming things and getting misguided.

  7. Do not share the details of the baby (age, medical issues, SAA) with anyone except for the pediatrician after you receive the referral, be it orally or through social media because

  8. It’s unethical

  9. If you don’t go ahead with the referral, the PAPs waiting after you might get influenced because of the more than required details shared by you and it eventually reduces the baby’s chances to get placed for adoption.

  10. Ideally, SAA is not supposed to provide us the details about the bio parents/ family of the child, so please don’t force the SAA to tell you the same and even if the SAA is willing to tell, don’t encourage them and even if SAA tells and you get the info, please don’t share it with anyone because only the child is supposed to know it if only he/ she wishes to and only after he/ she turns 18 years old.

Rest, the whole new process is bliss. It’s a system, created to make our lives easy, to make the process easy and transparent. The waiting period is long but then, somewhere the choices we make during registration define our waiting period, so we shouldn’t really complain. Honestly, when I see people suffering because of SAA’s negligence or system’s fault, I find myself very lucky to have come across a SAA, the lawyer and the judge, which were very efficient and pro active when it came to the process, post referral. I have bugged the CARA state coordinator a lot during my waiting period of 13.5 months, be it on phone or by visiting them in CARA head office and it helped. CARA state coordinators helped when it was really needed. It’s really easy at times to blame the system, but then we forget that it’s a system and it’s bound to have certain pros and cons. What’s important is if we approach the system and system officials for our doubts and the end result. When we finally take our baby in our arms, all the challenges seem so small and love takes over and it’s serene, which reminds me of a famous quote:

The Adoption took time. Love arrived instantly!!

Disclaimer: This post is not to malign or question anybody’s choices. It’s solely my experience and some pointers which might help people in waiting list to go ahead with the process. I strongly believe that adoption is a very personal choice and an individual decision and should be taken if only one wants to and not as a charity or social service.

Sneha Gaurav Singh is an event manager by profession (well, currently on a momma break) and nowadays, being known as Raahi’s momma!! She makes it a point to spread awareness about positive adoption language and how the adoption process is friendly and helpful.

This article originally appeared in http://www.thewonderwomenworld.com/a-blissful-experience/

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