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 and 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. Firstly, the reasons for adoption need to be evaluated prior to making a decision.

While this is a gradually becoming a declining trend, the decision to adopt is still predominantly triggered by the inability to have biological children. This is often seen as an inadequacy by the couple and by the society.And so, when adoption is looked at as the next best option, it is crucial that an informed and a well-thought out decision is made.

These factors are worth considering before deciding to adopt:

  • Are you psychologically, emotionally and physically ready for adoption?
  • Have you gotten past the feeling of inadequacy for not having a birth child?
  • Can you unconditionally accept a child of another culture, social, religious and racial background?
  • Can you accept and tackle concerns arising out of adoption without any pre-conceived prejudices?
  • Also,is the extended family ready to accept the child and be inclusive in the long run? If not, how do you bring them into the fold and convince them to accept the decision?

There are certain indicators that you are probably on the right approach and ready to opt for adoption

  • Most importantly, when you are ready to provide a nurturing and stable environment for the child.
  • The acknowledgment and recognition of the birth parents’ place in the adoption unit.
  • Willingness to be open and share details of the adoption without underplaying or overthinking it.
  • Ready to step out of ‘adoption’ mode and handle concerns that arise as child-centric concerns, without being overwhelmed and disregarding the circumstances.
  • When your life is primarily characterised by optimism and energy rather than pervasive feelings of sadness for not having a birth child.

The “ideal situation” of placing a child with a couple; a mother and a father, is slowly giving way to diverse family systems. There are growing number of factors leading to the acceptance of single-parent families.

With sudden surge of divorces, single family systems are no longer viewed any differently from the ideal traditional family system. Today, we come across more single parents breaking the barriers and accepting the challenges of single parenting. As a result, in the current scenario of adoption, single parent adoption is widely accepted. Research indicates that children in single adoptive families compare favourably with other adopted children and display a healthy involvement with friends and family.

Single parents (of either gender) need to introspect on the emotional and physical requirement that would be required to raise children. Going it alone entails a different kind of emotional and physical strength, and hence, one needs to evaluate certain considerations carefully prior to becoming a parent.

Some things to consider if you plan to go it alone:

  • Most importantly, do you have time to nurture and provide a stable environment
  • Financial viability.
  • Support Infrastructure (in terms of family & friends)
  • Is adoption being considered only to fill the void that one sometimes experiences as a single individual?
  • In any eventuality, would a family member continue to provide support and care for the child?

When adoption becomes the first choice to start a family, it is imperative that it is a well thought through and an informed decision. Along the way, one may decide to have a biological child, and this decision should not have any implications on the child. The premise to opt for adoption as an alternate way of starting a family,is to provide a nurturing family.

It would help to seek counselling at this point before coming to a decision.

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