Raghava M.

Couples who cannot have their own children are increasingly looking at adoption

90 families are waiting for adoptive children

There is no stigma attached to adoption any more

BANGALORE: The scene is familiar. Women in infertility clinics subjecting themselves to expensive treatments, agony, and the occasional heartbreak and humiliation. Years and money spent on attempts to beget their own child.

Thankfully, attitudes are changing and many couples are looking at adoption as the best alternative. Time was when adoption was talked about in hushed tones. But not any more. Take for example the case of K. Hayavadana of Gangavati who took that step that was to change his life by adopting a baby from Bangalore. It was not easy at first. It took much persuasion to get his wife and his conservative parents to agree.

“I had to place before them the harsh reality,” he said and added: “If my wife had gone ahead with her pregnancy, it would have been at the risk of her health, which I did not want.” She had to terminate her pregnancy twice owing to medical problems.

His two-year effort at changing their mind was worth it. Dr. Hayavadana and his wife, Sumanti, adopted a child — a three-month-old baby boy. It was love at first sight. The moment Dr. Hayavadan and Ms. Sumanti saw the child, he smiled at them. That was enough. The couple did not have to see other children. The happiness his son brings to his family is no different from what a biological child would have brought, Dr. Hayavadana told The Hindu.

Dr. Hayavadana is just one of the hundreds of happy adoptive parents. Today, 90 families are waiting for adoptive children, having registered their names with the Voluntary Coordinating Agency (VCA) in Bangalore, which is one of 18 Adoption Coordination Agencies set up by the Central Adoption Resource Agency ( www.adoptionindia.nic.in).

An increasing number of couples, who discover they cannot have children of their own, are choosing adoption at a much younger age, said Saraswathi Srinath, gynaecologist and former President of Sudatta, an adoptive parents’ network.

“Earlier we used to find that infertile couples who are well past their prime and having made all efforts to have a child of their own finally thinking of think of adoption as a last resort. The trend is now changing for the better with a lot of younger couples opting to adopt a child,” Dr. Saraswathi added.

Those eager to adopt infants used to wait for two to six months are registering themselves, the waiting period is going up.

No stigma

A positive development is that there is no stigma attached to adoption any more. People approach the VCA as a matter of course, said its chairperson Aloma Lobo. “They are leaving behind infertility behind and going ahead with life by adopting children.”

Girl children

Another happy trend is that more and more parents want girl children. This has eased the burden of VCA because there are more girl children to offer. Karnataka is one of the few States where families were coming forward to adopt disabled children, Dr. Lobo said with pride.

Dr. Lobo expressed the need to expedite the process involved in legalising the adoption. Though checks and balances are necessary, the agencies involved should bear in mind the fact that “each day spent in adoption homes will be a spoke in a child’s life.”

She said a common adoption act should be framed as against the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, Guardians and Wards Act and Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000, which are in force.