Thursday, May 13, 2021 | Ramadan 30, 1442 H
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Child adoption, a two-sided social umbrella


To have a child at some point in life is the desire of every woman, whether as a first thought or a wish or already in planning form. Since the start of human history, women have become mothers as part of the natural process and a passion of almost all women. However, for some women, this aspiration may remain unfulfilled even after many attempts, which can often be associated with great sadness, and they look for alternatives.

Adopting a child could be one of the ways which can make woman a mother. Child adoption is a common social and historical issue exists to satisfy mutual needs of parents without children and children without parents. Adoption is the social, emotional and legal process in which children, who will not be raised by their parents at birth, become full and permanent legal members of another family, while maintaining the genetic and psychological connections to their family of birth.

Child adoption is a lifelong journey for all members involved in the adoption triangle, natural parents, adopted children and adoptive parents. It brings a chance of satisfaction for the biological parents because they might not be able to meet the needs of their children for being poor or physically or mentally not healthy. Therefore, placing their children for adoption will make them more comfortable with a realisation that they chose in the best interest of their children.

The third party in this triangle is the adoptive parents, who are regarded the first beneficiaries of adoption. They will be able to satisfy their parental needs or other purposes they are seeking from adoption. Likewise, adoption is a helpful replacement for adopted children, who might be lucky for having somebody to take care of them. Case in a point, the mother of Prophet Moses, in an attempt to save her child from death by the Pharaoh’s decree, placed her child in a reed basket at the edge of the Nile River. Pharaoh’s family formally adopted Moses and his birth mother served as his nurse during Moses’ infancy.

In contrast, the love and care given by the adoptive parents might never be a substitute for the natural love of the biological parents. This is like the difference between natural milk and the enriched one; both are called milk, but they are not alike as the natural one is much healthier. A child could once be a complete stranger for birth parents.

On the other hand, adoption sometimes brings psychological issues for a child as it affects the emotional stability. The adopted child might experience loss, grief, lack of identity and confused self-concept. The adoptive parents might be ignorant of the fact that an adopted child is emotionally challenged. Separating a child from the real parents is depressing and could be a lifetime scar for the child.

Adoption affects all triad members, adoptees, birth parents and adoptive parents and other birth and family members throughout life. Adoption could be a social umbrella spreading unfair parts of shade to all the involved members in this process. In fact, the placement itself has great impacts on a child, for better or worse, as s/he will be raised by non-biological parents, with all the challenges. Sometimes, the adoption experience is based on the gender and age of the adopted child and adoptive parents in order to build the chemistry between both parties.

Adoption is not a decision to be simply taken; one should think twice before placing a child for adoption or welcoming an adopted child in the family. An adoptive parent shall bear all the consequences of such critical decision. Adopting an infant is never like adopting a teenager and adopting girl or a boy is not alike too!

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