Agenda | Apr 13,2019
Jun 3 , 2023
By Eden Sahle ( Eden Sahle is founder and CEO of Yada Technology Plc. She has studied law with a focus on international economic law. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. )
I am acquainted with several young parents who decided to adopt children from non-governmental institutions.
The process involved a six-month rigorous screening and selection for adopting the infants. The prospective parents were only allowed to choose the gender of the infant they would adopt.
Their emotional and financial preparedness to take sole custody and provide a loving home for four abandoned infants was an inspiring journey to witness. They held jubilant celebrations to officially welcome them into the families, while the infants who were in a fragile state thrived emotionally, mentally and physically. They eventually bonded with their affable parents and siblings.
I have friends from a similar background whose journey is a testament to the unbreakable bond. Their parents documented how they found them in critical condition, abandoned and sick as babies. However, they were nurtured the same as biological children, attending the same schools and receiving the same privileges. They refer to them as their birth parents while they have accepted their biological parents as relatives.
When adoption is discussed, it is common for people to ask if the adoptive parents have their own biological children, which can perpetuate negative stereotypes.
Even when foster parents fully embrace the children as their own, others may struggle to accept them as part of the family. The label of "adopted" can remain in the minds of the extended family, despite strong bonds among the nuclear family. It is unfairly seen as taboo and not fully understood by society.
It is important for society to recognise and support all types of families. Couples who are sterile or experienced miscarriages create a loving family, like those with biological children- raising children who are adored deeply. These parents should be celebrated for their love and commitment to their children rather than criticised.
Adopting a child can bring immense joy and fulfilment to both the child and the parents. It provides a loving and stable environment for children who may have otherwise faced a difficult future.
Foster children are able to form strong bonds with their families and are grateful for the opportunity to have a home and envision a future. They overcome feelings of abandonment and form a strong sense of identity with their newfound home.
While adoption may not be the right choice for every foster child, it can be a viable option for those who are looking for a permanent home and family. Social workers say many grow up happy and well-adjusted regardless of adoption as adolescents. They have a lasting close relationship with their caregivers, are secure in their identities, and can navigate life.
Growing up within a family allows children to exhibit optimism and confident social behaviours. The parent-child relationship is a unique bond that brings joy and strengthens a child's social, physical, mental, and emotional health.
While the wide acceptance of adoption is yet to be widely seen in Ethiopia, some communities have embraced the practice and given children in need a devoted home. Despite having biological children, these families are stepping forward to provide for orphans and the abandoned.
It is truly gratifying to witness children grow up in a loving family. I have had the pleasure of observing friends who have adopted children and initially thought that they had positively impacted the children's lives. However, I soon realised the children's unconditional love exuberantly changed my friends' lives.
Unfortunately, many are missing out on this experience for lack of awareness. However, foster parents and social workers should create awareness so more families can experience the delight.
It is important for nongovernmental agencies to continue advocating for adoption as a viable option for families looking for expansion or nurturing environment for a child in need.
PUBLISHED ON Jun 03,2023 [ VOL 24 , NO 1205]
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