The earlier articles highlight the various aspects and nuances on adoption; including the formation of family systems in India, and followed by an article on Attitudes and Mindsets on Adoption. You can recap here

As we move to the address the the next steps in adoption, listed below are some questions to help you in making the decision

  • Why do I want to adopt?

The answer to this may not be easy for some. However, it is a pertinent question you need to ask oneself, prior to entering the adoption process. Understanding and validating the reasons for adopting is important. Do you feel secure facing tough questions, and are you comfortable with the reasons? The reasons why you want to adopt are pivotal to the way you handle post adoption concerns. Always seek the advice of an adoption counsellor prior to the process.

  • How do I know I’m ready?

The first step for anyone considering adoption is to open your minds and hearts to the concept. However, it is equally important to ponder and carefully analyse all the variables in adoption prior to arriving at the decision to start or expand a family through adoption. Also, you should have realistic expectations and not overthink or overanalyse, but at the same time, address your inner thoughts and concerns on adoption. It is advisable to opt for counselling before arriving at a decision. Counselling can help you to get a clearer perspective. Talking to adoptive parents can also be useful.

  • What child is right for you?

This is something to think about very seriously. One needs to be honest, open and transparent throughout the process. The conventional approach is one of ‘matching’ – mostly in terms of skin colour of the parents. However, this is literally a skin-deep approach. After all, there are quite a few biological children who look very different from their parents or siblings. Remember that truly strong bonds are built over time, as you spend time caring for and nurturing your child.

The more important thought here is the distinction you make in your mind, not the external distinctions. If distinctions cloud your thoughts, it will not work, irrespective of how well the baby is physically matched in one’s environment. There is no right or wrong choice, but you need to be clear in your mind about your reasons for opting for adoption.

  • Am I prepared socially for adoption?

Not everyone knows how to handle the social challenges surrounding adoption. While adoption is intensely personal, you must be prepared to talk about adoption and not feel fear or a sense of guilt or shame when questioned about it. You need to be armed with the right information to deal with social prejudices, stigma, misconceptions and opinions regarding adoption.

  • Am I prepared for the commitment of adoption and parenthood?

Having children is a life-long commitment. You need to be ready to take on all the challenges that come along with raising children. This commitment applies whether you choose to have children biologically or through adoption. Yes, adoptive parents may have certain unique challenges. Nevertheless, one must be prepared to tackle concerns and understand that adoption is not the root cause of every concern that arises for their child.

  • What sort of preparation do I need as a prospective adoptive parent?

There is no “one size fits all” formula. Speaking to families who have already adopted and gone through process could be helpful.

Setting the context on process and throwing the spotlight on the next steps in adoption

  • Counselling in – pre adoptive phase

  • Understanding the process of adoption in today’s context

Counselling is imperative

Thinking of expanding a family entails a lot of thought and consideration; the immediate and extended families in India continue to influence young couples in their decision-making process. When adoption becomes the option, one needs to be mindful of not being influenced by social conditioning/biases as well as the general preparedness of parents in taking on the responsibility. With adoption, this varies from person to person and it depends on many factors, including social, economic and familial circumstances. Prior to getting into the thick of things with the process, it helps if prospective parents can seek counselling and reach an informed decision on adoption and nuances in adoption.

Most often, counselling in adoption in today’s context is process counselling. But, I would like to reiterate the importance of counselling especially in the pre-adoptive phase for preparing oneself on all aspects of adoption. This is especially true since, while digitisation has streamlined the adoption process, it has removed the human connection and this may leave many parents concerns unanswered.

The reasons for adoption need to be evaluated prior to making a well-informed decision, and, it is absolutely alright to start with the question – Is adoption right for me/our family? – and if the outcome of the session does not lead you to adoption.

  1.  Adoption Process

The whole adoption process can take anytime between 4 months to two years from the time of registering with CARA depending on various parameters. In fact this time allows couples to prepare themselves for the arrival, and, if they want to, tick off things in their bucket list. For example, if one wishes to travel or enroll in a course, please take this opportunity and do so. Once the baby/child arrives there will be no me time for a while. And, this is especially true  for couples or individuals with not much infrastructure or physical support on the ground.   

Some of the areas in the process that requires some careful considerations

  1. The preference of All State queue versus 3 States queue

  2. Normal/Healthy (0-2)

  3. Older children adoption

  4. Special needs adoption

  5. Immediate placement

  6. Sibling adoption

Prior to considering the options above, do weigh the pros and cons and arrive at a decision which suits your family needs. As I had mentioned earlier there is no “one size fits all” formula for adoption, as this is intensely personal and very subjective, hence decisions cannot be based on peer/ societal/ family pressure.

For the want of a child quickly and to speed up the process, some parents choose options that may not suit their family needs for various reasons, and that decision can cause a negative impact and adoption can go awry.  This is one of the main reasons it is important to address the concerns and anxieties in the pre-adoptive phase. Once you arrive a decision then it lays a strong foundation during the process and post adoptive phase. When in doubt always seek an expert’s opinion. For more on this please visit www http://padme.in/preadoption/

The following is a simplified guide to the adoption process. It is not intended to be a comprehensive source of information. Please visit www.cara.nic.in for latest updates on process…

Documentation

 First step:

  • Register with CARINGS : Upload the soft copies of ID proof, marriage certificate, proof of residence, family photograph and medical certificate

  • CARA will mail you a registration number

  • The agency that you have selected will then get in touch for a home study report

  • Home study report will be uploaded on CARINGS

  Second Step:

  • Prospective adoptive parents depending on the choice, preference and eligibility are referred a profile of legally free children available in CARINGS

  • PAP’s will have to reserve a child within 48 hours

  • Set up an appointment with the agency (within 20 days of accepting according to 2017 adoption guidelines).

  • Check the documents required to be carried along with the agency. This is the standard list however some agencies ask for additional documents. Confirm if the documents have to be notarized/attested.

  • Ask the agency how it accepts the CARA prescribed fee – DD or Cheque.

  • Meet the child’s caretaker and get as much information as you can. Learn about the child’s routine, likes/dislikes if any.

  • Filing of the petition by SAA with PAP’s as co-petitioner in designated court within 10 days of acceptance.

  • PAP’s can then sign the foster care agreement and bring the child home (Pre-adoption foster care agreement) CSR and MER

  • Submit documents for filing petition in the court. The agency will usually assign a lawyer for this purpose.

Post adoption follow up:

  • Application and issuance of the Birth certificate of the child within 8 working days

  • Post adoption follow up till 2 years from the date of placement with the adoptive family (Once every 6 months, twice a year)

To sum it up, however prepared we are for parenting, we can’t foresee the future, be in the moment and enjoy the blessings and memories of each day.  Parenting is an incredible journey with its own set of challenges, but is any parenting devoid of challenges?

Leave you with this quote by Kalil Gibran

Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They came through you but not from you and though they are with you yet they belong not to

To know more on the process please visit http://padme.in/preadoption/ and http://padme.in/process/

First appeared here: http://mommymojo.in/the-decision-of-adoption-and-the-way-forward/?fbclid=IwAR0gYyDrx8_Dj-_dnd8z0ftREKCFRWI0A52tXOTqXHvxKpAvrYACnigpT-A

 

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