“Was it the act of giving birth that made you a mother? Did you lose that label when you relinquished your child? If people were measured by their deeds, on the one hand, I had a woman who had chosen to give me up; on the other, I had a woman who'd sat up with me at night when I was sick as a child, who'd cried with me over boyfriends, who'd clapped fiercely at my law school graduation. Which acts made you more of a mother? Both, I realized. Being a parent wasn't just about bearing a child. It was about bearing witness to its life.”  - Jodi Picoult, Handle with Care

When I was a child, one of my aunts was unable to conceive due to some fertility issues. I heard many times my relatives giving different suggestions to her. She consulted many gynaecologists, took long medication and when nothing gave a positive result, both my aunt and her husband decided to go for surrogacy.

In another case, my uncle adopted a baby boy whose parents died in an accident. I was so proud on him because from my childhood I use to feel one should take this loving decision to choose the best life possible for orphans. My uncle already had a biological child. The first thing my grandmother said after knowing of the adoption was, “why you have adopted a child when you can have your own babies?” My uncle is giving the best life possible to both his children but I can see many of the relatives who still don’t consider both the children equal. I heard one of them saying, “apna khoon apna hi hota hai”.

When I think about these things, I feel disgusting. I mean why it is such a big deal for everyone to have their own biological children?

I never get those people who are always seeking to have their own biological children in whatever conditions possible. When I discuss these things with them, I got the same answer from almost everywhere that blood relations are the best and also their children should have their genes. Why do we always forget the fact that the closest relation on earth is that of a husband and a wife? And they don’t share the blood relation or genes. To me, it’s not about blood or genes, it’s the upbringing that matters and it’s the love and affection that matters.

Any child you have for your own becomes your own, if you give of yourself to that child.

I still remember some beautiful lines I read somewhere,

“Not flesh of my flesh. Not bone of my bone. But still, miraculously my own. And never forget for a minute. You were not born under my heart. You were born in my heart.” -Unknown

About 20 million children (about 4% of the population) in India are orphan.

Adopting a child is the best thing one can do in his/her entire lifetime. As Joyce Maguire Pavao said, “Adoption isn’t about finding children for families…it’s about finding families for children.” Having a new child come in to your family is one of the greatest events in life. Life offers us so many memorable moments that sometimes we don’t even realize how special it would be with the presence of a child. Adoption has given people and continues to give people the opportunity to lead a fulfilling and meaningful life along their children, and in turn provides children opportunities in life once thought unachievable.

Adoption is an option for couples who are unable to have biological children. But many couples, single men and women have come ahead to adopt kids despite of having biological kids or being able to have biological kids.

Before few months a guy named ‘Aditya Tiwari’ sets an example by becoming the youngest bachelor to adopt a special child. Where on one hand, people like Aditya inspire us for such a notable step towards the welfare of children in our country, on the other hand, some celebrities are choosing surrogacy even after having their own kids. I may sound curt but, I never understand why they want another biological kid when they can adopt and give a beautiful life to a needy child. This result in increasing population and no one is unaware of this fact. It is selfish of us to pour our resources into making our ‘own’ babies when those resources and energy could not help children already here.

“Adopting one child won’t change the world; but for that child, the world will change”.

I really appreciate all those who adopt children and looking forward to the time when people become more open-minded and adopt children to make them theirs forever. Those children may not have your eyes; they may not have your smile but give them your heart.

I personally have chosen not to have children because I believe the children who are already here are mine too. I do not need to go making ‘my own’ babies when there are so many orphaned or abandoned children who need love, attention, time, and care. I have felt this way since I was a teenager. I have gone through many long discussions and arguments but my belief has not changed.

"I’m not afraid to grieve. I’m afraid of what will happen to these children if no one took the risk to love them.” 

This post was submitted in response to Share Your Story On Any Topic.

Comments

Dear Natasha, 

You bring up a lot of excellent points about adoption. Giving birth is not the only way of being a mother. In fact, I have had many inspirational and supportive women in my life who have felt more matronly than my own biological mother at times. 

A lot of having children is about vanity - you want to carry on your own legacy in many ways. Like you, I am always astonished when I hear stories of people who watched their children die from debilitating genetic illnesses then tried for more children with the same chances of those genetic illnesses surfacing. 

There are so many children in the world seeking safe homes. Often they have been physically or emotionally abused. But being a parent isn't just creating a life, but nourishing that life and supporting it despite challenges. I believe the bond between mother and child can still exist, because on a human level, we are all intrinsically linked through biology. 

Do you have any personal stories with adoption? I would love to read about your journey. 

Thank you for voicing your opinions, I look forward to reading more of your work. 

Best wishes, 

Sycamore May

Sycamore May

Thanks a lot Sycamore. Your words really mean a lot to me. I don't have any personal story regarding adoption but I will adopt children in near future. That is my dream from childhood.

Natasha Saxena