Till about a couple of decades back, adoption was talked about in hushed tones, and if it was happening, it happened only within the family, so as to maintain the so called ‘purity of the lineage’. Then, around 10 years back, as social awareness grew, adoptions by childless couples no longer saw raised eyebrows.
But nowadays, it is no longer restricted to childless couples. As horizons widen and boundaries shrink, today there are a lot of couples with biological children who are opting for adoption to give their child a sibling.
Preparing the biological child for the arrival of an adopted sibling, and vice-versa, is of primary importance. As Vanashree says, ‘We told Antaraa that it was her guardian angel that told us that her sister was waiting for us to come and pick her up.’
Nisha, on the other hand, linked the adoption of Ayaan to the story of Krishna being born to Devaki, but being brought up by Yashoda.
However, even after a lot of preparation, the first few months of adjustment can be difficult for the entire family. As Deval says, ‘The first month was very painful. Saumya used to call me didi and she would be very silent with me and my husband. She used to relate better to my biological sons. We gave her lots of time and space and then, after around eight months, she turned around so beautifully that today nobody looking at her would think that she wasn’t always a part of our family.’
Discipline is a big part of parenting and parents should not hesitate to discipline their child, adopted or biological. When a situation involves disciplining an adopted child, just take a minute, step back and ask yourself how you would have handled the situation, if it involved your biological child and then, do the same thing.
Do not try to hide the fact that your child is adopted, either from the children or from outsiders. But on the other hand, do not go around advertising this fact also.
To outsiders, disclose this information on a need basis, and only if you are sure that they are not going to be judgmental about it. As Nandini says, ‘While trying to explain about the concept of adoption to both the girls, we found it simplest and most effective to say that Sumedha chose us for parents while we chose Sukriti for a daughter.’
Despite all these preparations, brace yourself for some conflict situations between the children, especially if the age gap between them is very less. Be fair to both kids and take a balanced view.
Adopting, while already having a biological child, is a big decision to take. Do it only if the immediate family is on the same page as you are.
Follow your heart. Don’t do it for charity or to prove something to somebody else. Do it only when you know with certainty that that adopted child will be the one to complete your family.