Blog by: Supriya Deverkonda

My daughter loves to work on jigsaw puzzles. Other day some puzzle pieces were missing, and we went to search them just to complete that puzzle. This is the jigsaw puzzle that we were just playing, and it did not matter much if we miss few pieces. As we can buy the new jigsaw puzzle for her to complete. But I could not help but think that the biggest piece of her life was missing for both of us. That biggest piece was who gave birth to her, her genetic roots which we know nothing of.

That puzzle is and will always be enigma for my daughter, more so after knowing the truth around her birth and existence as I chose to be honest with her from upfront. Reason for doing so as knowing about her birth is her right to know all which I can not deny her. She has right to truth as mentioned by many of adults who were adopted. And so true they are, we know everything about our history including medical history, but my daughter knows nothing and, in many cases, adopted kids are kept in dark about adoption. They know it accidentally or they may never know.

I am not a psychologist who can comment which is better, but as parent or mother I know one thing, I can not break the trust my daughter has in me. Trust that my mother is always truthful to me and she would never have hidden anything that is important from me.

Before I diverge from the main topic, roots search was the term that I came across first time in scrutiny meeting. Roots search is the natural desire or instinct of the child to find out answers to burning questions and find out who their biological parents or family were. This can be stronger in some and not there for some. Additionally, as I started researching and talking to more people, I was also told that need for root search can happen at different walks of life for different kids.  

So, as parents what can we do and how we can help our kids as we want the best for them. I have highlighted the few key pointers which may help all:

  1. Be truthful with her about adoption from a very young tender age and reading out adoption story books can help or develop your own adoption stories which you can narrate. Be factual as much as possible. For example, you can openly tell her that she was never born from your tummy. It helps as it enables our child to accept it naturally. It helps

  2. Secondly, we need to be the pillar and support for them. We need to be there for them when they are seeking answers to burning questions in their mind. We need to be there throughout in their quest for their roots. Many times, they may simply push you away due to the inner fire, but we need to hold steadfast to them regardless of anything. As our parents stood by us in our good and bad times. We just should not give up on them.

  3. Thirdly, what I was told that after child turns 18 she can petition the court to get the documents related to her roots. And, as I said earlier it is her or his choice and we need to support them in it. As I said this journey will not be easy.

  4. Last but not the least, root search should be completely the choice of our child, but they should have that choice to have a closure to the past and grappling questions. All we can do is present them with all facts to enable them to make informed choice which they surely can. We just need to trust them.

I will conclude only by saying this despite this all, as I strongly believe in it and I will reinforce that in my child “Genetic roots or past does not define our identity and is just minuscule part of us. It is the human values we develop, our talents and our confidence that makes us whole part of our identity.”

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