Sometime back I accompanied one of my relatives to the infertility department of a renowned hospital. I was shocked to see the number of patients waiting there. It was almost a crowd. Tears filled my eyes as I realized how fortunate/lucky I was to have had a child normally. Having a child was a normal thing for me till I witnessed this infertility centre. My son seems to be a miracle to me now! The complexities and stress of modern life has made infertility a very common problem.
This relative of mine who is elder to me had been married for the last fifteen years, but unable to bear a child. She had undergone all types of treatments from reputed hospitals in Mumbai and Hyderabad. She religiously tried astrology, palmistry, vaastu shashtra, pyramids and what not. Nothing worked! She would conceive, take all recommended precautions, but could not carry beyond the third month. After going through four treatments she gave up hope. All these years’ people kept telling her to adopt a baby, but she & her husband were not very much interested. As time and age passed, her husband immersed himself in his business, touring half the month and didi was getting bored with her lecturer’s job which she had been doing since the last 15 years! Then someone recommended her a Delhi hospital, and because we were here, she decided to take a last chance.
Now we saw directly what all she had undergone all these years. For 21 days she was recommended bed rest and an injection daily in the thighs. The area of the injection went hard and blue with the daily shots. Now came the day of the result….! We all prayed and waited for the report! It came out……. Negative! Didi remained silent for some time with tears rolling down her eyes and then began the uncontrollable sobbing which made our heart break too. Doctor recommended another round in the next cycle, and didi came back to Delhi with fresh hopes and for a last treatment. It failed again! Now it was our turn. We had been telling her for long, but after seeing everything we simply put our foot down and took her to the adoption agencies.
Gradually she started pouring out all the anxieties she and her husband had been undergoing. She did often think of adoption, but her husband and his family were a bit reluctant. This was natural! When we adopt, we are totally ignorant of the child’s lineage. What she/he will look like in future, what will be their intelligence level etc. If it’s a boy, who knows his parental background? May be when he grows up he may become a threat to the family? Mostly negative thoughts crossed the mind & they gave up the idea of adoption and went on with their life as usual. But the thought remained!
Surrogacy was an option. Again, what if the surrogate mother wanted the child back? She may even blackmail later if she happened to know the parents! This option was also given up.
Some suggested contacting hospitals directly, where unwanted newborns are abandoned. This way they can have a faint idea of the mother’s background. But this procedure is very much illegal and may create legal problems later.
So back to the best way – legal adoption. It took some time to convince them for adoption. I cited the example of my two orphan friends who were growing up in a missionary orphanage. We went to the same school & college. They visited my house and I freely went t o theirs. They are no different from me, although nothing is known about their biological parents. I knew closely a few other beautiful adoption cases too and made didi talk to them. Still they were apprehensive about a boy and so they finally decided to adopt a baby girl. The adoption process now began.
They applied in many cities. In Delhi the waiting time was long and they were told that because they were almost touching the age of 40 yrs. they would be given an older (1+) child. But they wanted an infant below 6 months age.
Another call came from another city. Three babies were shown. They liked the last one, but she had some health problem. Again the wait for next call began.
In the meantime I too was wondering, when my son makes frequent mistakes in math, I check myself from getting angry, knowing that math has always been a difficult subject for me too. Quite often we talk of genes passing to the children. It helps us accept many weaknesses of our biological child. But how will I judge/understand an adopted child? May be in that case I’ll lose my temper, and in turn harm the child’s mental growth!
Another question was when is the right time to tell the child that he/she is adopted and how to tell without hurting the child!
Finally and luckily didi got a cute baby girl of 3 months from an adoption agency of her home town itself. I t saved her trips to other cities for the further formalities of adoption.
She was so nervous about how to hold her baby, what to feed, even when she should be put in a playschool etc. But now life has changed. Since the last one year we get every happy detail of the baby’s development on phone and pictures on the internet. Didi is again enjoying her job and her husband has reduced the number of tours. They are a happy smiling family now! Not just that, now even we are planning to adopt a baby girl to complete our family (without adding to the existing population!).