TODAY -

Let adopted child knows the truth
- Imphal Times Editorial :: April 26 2017 -



There are not many people who would not agree that an adopted child must be told that he or she is adopted.

In the rare case where adoptive parents have, for one reason or another, refrained from doing so, the consequences have been disastrous.

With so many people involved in the exercise, an adoption can never be kept a total secret, and sooner or later the child involved will discover the truth.

It is not difficult to imagine his or her reaction to this belated discovery. So shattering is the experience that youngsters in this situation have been driven to suicide.

In fact, such is the importance placed on a child knowing that he is adopted. There is a strong movement in the West to encouraged White parents to adopt a negro or Asian child rather than one of their own kind.

The rationale is that since the child looks so different from his parents, there is no doubt in his mind, or anyone else’s that he is adopted and from the very start he is accepted as such.

With the shroud of secrecy thus removed, the whole business of telling the child of his antecedents becomes easier to handle.

Yet the temptation for adoptive parents to suppress this information must be considerable, if only to protect the child from hurt.

Their own feeling for an adopted child cannot be any different to those they would have for a biological child. The parental bond are as strong and their love as great.

For them, nothing can made the child less their in any way.

Yet for the child, it is different.

Much though this child may love the adoptive parent and feel a secure, intrinsic part of the family, there are two factors that are bound to influence his or her reaction to the situation a natural curiosity about the biological parents and an over whelming feeling of rejection at the thought of having been abandoned or given up by them.

This last is what makes telling an adopted child the truth so difficult. W. Shyamsunder who adopted a son over 20 years ago, when adoptions were still not very common or orgamosed, tells the advice he was given by both the gynaecologist who delivered the baby and the society that arranged the adoption.

“When the time comes to tell your son that he is adopted,” they said, “he will want to know how and why he came to be adopted, and why his parents did not want him. The simplest, and least damaging way to deal with this is to tell him that his parent were both killed in a car crash. This way, he will not feel rejected. Nor will he be tempted when he is older to look for his ‘roots.”

Whether this friend took this advice or not, and had the courage to ask. But the pros and cons of this advice for sometimes now should be well look upon.

If the end justifies means telling a lie to protect your child may be acceptable.

But can it be acceptable when the lie is told to the child himself? Shouldn’t a relationship between a parent and child always be based on total truth?

But apart from the ethics of the situation, there seems to be a very practical reason for sticking to the truth. In the remote event.



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