Monday, April 16, 2012


                        Who of the two is our adopted child?

Way back in the times when myth and legends that we know of is said to have happened, boons and manna were often dispensed by the Gods. Couples yearning to have a child of their own blood used to engage the preist-dom in sacrificial sorcery and offerings to the heavens, thereupon from the sacrificial fire appeared a god or goddess with the boon that would fecundate and soon a child is born. The mythical treatise of Ramayana mentions King Dasharadh appeasing the gods and his wives bearing children. The legend of Karna was born when the Sun god showered his pleasure on the mother of Pandavas, then still a maiden. The story of Christ is born out of virgin conception- again a decision by the God.  

It seems to have been a pretty easy exercise when the Gods had the sole dispensing right for the baby boom, compared to the trial and error matters with the intervention of man and medical sciences.
I was at the wedding of this gentleman “Y” ,in 1996. He was a friend and business acquaintance. The bride was an Andhraite Brahmin and a very exuberant person. We knew her from earlier times when they were courting.   The marriage was conducted in typical Brahmin fashion. It was an elaborate wedding in Bangalore followed by a elaborate dinner later in the evening.

Though I used to meet him occasionally and was communicating often on business matters we also used to preface our conversations with mutual enquiries after both our families. However, I did not meet his children, though I was aware that his family has expanded. And a couple of years back while I was in Bangalore for a business meeting in his office, he invited me home for lunch.  And I saw his children, a boy and two girls. He introduced me to the boy who was about eighteen. “A, meet my son.” And the girls were one in her adolescence and the other a few years younger.

 It just did not fit for me. First, his wedding year and the age of the eldest son were at odds. A guy married in1996 cannot have a son who is about eighteen in 2009. And bizarre it may be the boy seemed to have a Nepali appearance. It would be grossly rude and discourteous to refer these things in the conversation. And I smothered with the oddity until the next day when I could tell another friend about the confounding matter.
 The fact was that the boy was adopted and of Nepali descent. I was surprised, peeved at my silliness and felt admiration for the man.

Look around and we see many childless couples anxiously running about from temples to churches, and mausoleums before eventually ending up in infertility clinics that have mushroomed around every bend on the road. Gods seldom handout babies and bless with conceptions these days, though the lure and wizardry of faith and beliefs lead people to religious abodes. However, the medical practioner amused and patient waits as he knows that eventually his cash box will tinkle as couples will seek his assistance – cul-de sac.

The cruel irony is that as in any facet of life there are reprobates at large among physicians as well. These men of medicine often exploit the desperation of these gullible men and women who yearn for a child. One may not wonder if the lid is blown on these infertility clinics and their reprehensible and libertine ways are exposed. 

I wonder what precludes people who are physiologically unable to fecundate or conceive from taking recourse to adoption. Even the learned and educated of the gentry make beeline to places that offer supernatural remedies for infertility. Astonishingly they do not reason the course of adoption, which is nobler and practical than conceiving through a donor sperm, having a child through a surrogate or seek upward for the impossible to happen!

The handsome Nepali boy must have been adopted from a shelter for destitute. He must be immensely fortunate to get a home, loving parents and foster sisters. It was pleasure watching the family stay together, play, joke, and live together. Perhaps a rare glimpse of what heaven could be on this earth. And, for Y to proudly introduce him as his son is a prise that is nobler than nobility can ever be!


Balachandran V said...

Yes, a noble act indeed it is. And something that childless couples should do. I have close relatives, a couple of issue-less couples who who have/are going through the circus to beget a child of their own.

But, the crux of the issue is to have a issue of their OWN. That is a biological need, the deep-seated yearning to ensure the lineage. An adopted child cannot be a substitute - perhaps that will appease the need to care for and love a child to some extent, but the very purpose of procreation is to create a being of one's own flesh and blood. That only can validate our existence. One has to sympathize with such people and only advise them and hope they will adopt an unfortunate orphan.

NRIGirl said...

I have seen among friends and family who have adopted and now live happily and those who tried it all and now regret they didn't adopt.

Here in America I have seen families with own children going the extra mile to adopt a child - isn't that awesome!

Then there are those who decide to have a puppy or kitten over a child and would do anything for "him"/"her".

NRIGirl said...

Just to add: (Heard or read not sure...)

Soon after adopting a child a mother also has a child of her own. A friend visiting them after many years asks who was the adopted one and the mother responds, "I forgot!"

Isn't that something?!

rama said...

I have friends and relatives to have adopted a child sometimes two, and both being girls.I also know a few who were able to conceive but chose not to, and instead took a orphan baby home, and I also happen to know some who have one child of their own and adopt the other one.
In earlier days, there used to be some discrimination among the already adopted and the child/ children born of their own afterwards, but now a days you don't see such things happening so often.
Another problem that some couple whom I know, have even faced problems by the adopted child, once they were told that they were adopted.
It maybe easy for us to appreciate such deeds by well meaning people , but the consequences are also there to be considered, for one never knows, how to deal with such children who resent the fact that the were adopted. Also one has to be careful as to what is the right time to reveal the truth to the children.
Nothing seems to be so easy in life I suppose, there is always a risk involved in doing something good and live everyday with the fear, of rejection by the children, on whom we have showered all our love and care.
I am not saying every body would go through such trauma, but those who are unfortunate to go through, would always regret this decision.
One girl, an adopted daughter of my friend even went to the extent of going to the police and complaining that her mother was abusing and ill treating her, just because she couldn't get things her way, she was a 21 year old confused person, and since she knew she was adopted she was always looking for ways to take revenge on the lady, who was a real gem of a person.

anilkurup said...

@ Balan,
The emotional and sentimental hue behind begetting a child is a very vital matter for human beings. There is not disputing the fact. But is n't surrogacy and other artificial means aided by science a lesser thing than adoption for couples with an impossible condition?

Rather than sorcery?

@ NRIGirl
Yes there are such people who lit beacon in seeming darkness.
Your second comment is the poignant of all.

@ Rama,

Such situations hypothetical as they may be can turn into reality. And taking a decision in such matters is purely on the individual and their thinking. isn't it?

The instance of begetting a child after adoption may happen and the scenario is more adept to a tear jerking film theme.

It is not only adopted children who may turn against parents , even the ones born to parents can be ungrateful. That is a special quality found only in human beings.

R.Ramakrishnan said...

Adoption unfortunately is still not the preferred option for most childless couples & the last but reluctant option for many.Really appreciate your friend's progressive gesture. I guess the two girls are his biological children.

Happy Kitten said...

Guess it is not an easy decision to make and the yearning for one's own flesh and blood would make the couple try every means to have one.. but then there are couples who adopt inspite of knowing the risks.. as you pointed out a biological child can act worse than an adopted one.. and there are couples who are ready to shower all their love on animals instead of humans... this world is complicated :)
but kudos to all those lovely people who chose to adopt and also those who adopted even when they have their own children.. may their tribe increase..

anilkurup said...

@ R.Ramakrioshnan,

Unfortunately so, like cadaver donation adoption too is least important in the scale of social responsibilities.
Yes indeed the girls are his biological children.

@Happy Kitten

Yes complicated world and relationships are more complicated.

It takes a special thought process to accept and adopt.

....Petty Witter said...

As always such a thought provoking post.

I have very mixed feelings about the medical intervention of people unable to have children as on the one hand I have seen the joy these children bring and yet on the other hand I believe children are a gift and not a right. And then of course there is always the issue of fostering and adopting a child who is in desperate need of a family. As I said, a thought provoking post , thanks.

kavita said...

In two more days I will be celebrating my eighteenth marriage anniversary .Nine years back as I was about to undergo for IUI , I looked around the people in waiting room who like me were waiting for undergoing either IVF or a similar procedure like mine.Most of them were sad and not so pleasant looking and my heart twitched what if Chandan's (my hubby)sample got mixed and I get inseminated by the wrong sample .I shared my fear with my husband who gently pressed my hand and replied ,"a child is a child ,a blessing , doesn't matter to me if there is a mix up , we will raise him/her with all the love and affection we have got."
After first few years of infertility treatment my husband and mother -in-law wanted us to adopt a child but it was me who wanted to try to have kids of my own .

ousu said...

Anil - Your friends were truly being is one of my constant fights with mom, about adopting a child and being a single dad, where she calls me crazy and passes her verdict, not while I am alive..

about the medical practitioners lure to suckle man's love for his own lineage, you are quite right..

and surrogacy, another boom, which had the poverty struck Indian house wife and villages taken by a the room that gets rented, her womb gets rented and she returns back wealthier and healthier..

anilkurup said...

@ Petty Witter

Thanks T.

@ Ousu,

Your mother is right. The idea you have about being a single parent and adopting a child is borne out of fantasy.
There is something called family as you know well that keeps the world turning around in spite of all the ills we see around. It is a scour to have a family and be nurtured in it.

Insignia said...

Oh! how come I didnt leave a comment? I remember reading the post.

The fact that we tend to have a progeny of our flesh and blood has given opportunity for sorcery, fertility clinics and all that. Adopting is a nobler thing to do. You know the trauma that a woman goes through during those fertility treatments? The body is raped along with the soul.

But yeah adoption is a sticky issue for Indians esp who believe in planting their seed on the earth

anilkurup said...

@ Insignia,

Thanks for coming here though late. I wondered how you missed. You are right , the trauma is much for women.
There was this very beautiful class mate , who I saw almost twenty five years after, a few years ago during our college batch get together. She was highly educated and a career woman. But the pretty face that once made all us guys believe that she would accept if we proposed was reflecting much pain and lack of vigor. She was childless! The sadness reflected and smothered much of her beauty.

Well medical science gives an option and so does the recourse of adoption.

anilkurup said...

@ Kavita,

Thanks K, I saw your message in the fb and ahoy the spam box of the blogger was full with quite some messages. So except for the ones from the "Anonymous" folks , I posted all in the comment page.

First please accept my congratulations and let you two hit the golden year hail , healthy and with all happiness.

I could feel the realistic apprehensions you had. Yes a mix up is a probable thing. But your man seem to have the magnanimous heart to comment the way he did .

In the end all is well with that ends well. All the best to your kids too.