The Flip Side of Adoption

This particular write up may face strong criticism and flak from many readers. I understand the feelings of many social workers and humanitarian souls who patronize and promote ‘adoption’ will feel terribly annoyed and offended by my statements. But, I will be too happy if they could substantiate their stand by showing better examples which outnumber the minority I am trying to project. In fact, I will be too happy if that is so. 

A recent television reality show only made me think and write this. A reasonably elderly couple had adopted a male child from an orphanage when he was just five and half months old since they have no issues and brought him up as their son. In fact, the couple had not disclosed at any stage that he is being adopted. The boy grew up as any normal teenager but the day he received the school leaving certificate where he had been referred as ‘adopted’ his attitude seemed to have changed. Instead of being grateful to his adopted parents he turned into a rebellion and his friends seemed to have fanned his attitude, it is said. The feeling he got was that his parents are ‘too strict’ and ‘unreasonable’ to him because he is not their ‘own’ son. But, the fact remained that his mother and father have been doing all things to please him including getting an engineering seat for his poor score by paying rupees two lakhs as capitation fee to a private engineering college and also a motorbike to make him happy. He was very poor in his studies and not attended the classes properly and could not complete the course. Later, he was sent to another diploma course on his own suggestion which also he is not willing to continue. 

He says he wanted to build up his body and to become a wrestler. How a normal parent will take it? Can anyone take up ‘wrestling’ as a full time profession in India? He seems to have the least interest to go for any job. When the parents object, he says impertinently ‘I will leave the house and go live on roads’. 

This is not a singular case I am seeing. A family friend of mine adopted a boy and he too was a rebel in a way and poor in his studies. He claimed that he wanted to become a television serial maker and became bankrupt by selling the house the man constructed with his hard earned money. A highly qualified colleague of mine had adopted a boy and girl and settled abroad with them. But, I find the two are not significantly good in academics. They are just drifting from one course to another. I am not sure about their behavior to their single parent. 

Another lady doctor known to me adopted a boy and girl too. The girl is luckily docile but the boy is not. He is not just naughty but absolutely defiant and violent. She in a way is finding it difficult to manage them because her husband who was a professor in a prestigious educational institute had passed away. 

Even I adopted a girl child through a prestigious social work outfit and taking care of her education. But, the girl’s parents who had suddenly decided to stop her education even before she reached the plus two to get her married off and the organization discontinued the support. 

It is widely discussed and challenged that a child becomes good or bad because of the upbringing than the qualities it inherits from its parents or through genes. Is this argument valid really? I doubt. The parent’s qualities and genes somehow will be in the children’s system too and that must be the reason for these misgivings. It is nice to hear that a thief’s son need not be a thief; but, it has to be seen that all the ‘poor’ are not rebellious and thieves but only a few among them. But, the parents who abandon their child cannot be fully considered ‘poor’ and ‘helpless’. They have the ‘arrogance’ to enjoy sex without safeguards and temerity to ‘throw the kid’ in a dustbin or street corner without qualms. There is no guarantee that the child will not inherit this arrogance, wild character, viciousness from the parents. When the science can identify the parenthood through DNA test, such qualities can also be related to the child through the parents. 

Please understand that I am not against adoption or philanthropy. These cannot be dismissed as rare cases. I feel that the couple who wishes to ‘adopt’ a child needs to be mentally prepared to face any situation when the child grows up into an adult since its parenthood is not known. In the present condition even the biological sons and daughters are more materialistic and ruthless. ‘Upbringing’ is definitely an influencing factor in making a man or woman; but there is something called ‘genetic’ and ‘inherent’ too. It is a fact which I have learnt from the above incidents. 


More by :  G Swaminathan

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