in , , ,

Should Single People have the Right to Adopt Kids?

With the total world population nearing a whopping 8 billion and declining resources like food, water, shelter, land and so on, the current definition of what comprises a ‘family’ requires a very intricate variation. Although we look forward to ‘change’ and take pride in all the technological advancements, we know the grim reality. The image of a ‘perfect family’ which has been intricately interwoven with culture, religion, and to an extent – the way of life, has left some 140 million children worldwide without caring homes.

Humans, who make up the society, often think that an ideal family should consist of a set of parents and a set of kids. In the most patriarchal-ridden and backward societies, it is often frowned upon when a child is raised by a single parent, irrespective of how financially sound and well-to-do one is. Some might even come up with various issues of how a child requires both sets of parents and how religion and local customs does not support such acts. While we have indulged ourselves in all the luxuries this world can provide, and made the youth run behind the hopes of their ‘non-existent’ future, we have become ignorant of the other side – where innocent lives are being robbed of their very source of happiness.

Credits: ParentingFirstCry

According to UNICEF and global partners, an orphan is a child under 18 years of age who has lost one or both parents to any cause of death. Orphans also include all those children under 18 who have lost either a mother or a father, or have an either surviving parent. Here again, there is a lot of controversy amongst countries around the globe since quite a few of them refuse to ‘label’ children with a single surviving parent as orphans, while some do.

The UNICEF (with reference to its definition) states that in 2015 there has been an estimated 140 million orphans globally and with the rates increasing subsequently every year, the highest number of orphans are found in Asia (61 million approximately). While children are adopted or sent to orphanages and foster homes, many don’t have it that easy. For most orphans from the Asian and African regions, survival is a task to which they deal with through the rest of their lives. Even if these children somehow learn the ‘skills’ of survival, the mental trauma and the constant fear of separation (separation anxiety) turn out to be the biggest hindrances of their lives. Hence, emotional and behavioural problems are comparatively higher among the orphans and other vulnerable children as they are more exposed to abuse, exploitation, neglect and lack of love.

Today, the social stigma around adopting children has reduced and people are coming forward to adopt children from countries around the world, but some 15 years back, it wasn’t the most acceptable norm. At first, people often tended to adopt kids who had similar features to the said parents. They chose children from the same race, citing reasons like, ‘these children need a home and will be comfortable around the people they have always seen and grown up with’. This is exactly where most of the parents go wrong. The suffering children and orphans seek a home filled with warmth and love. They know that the ‘inclusion’, greatly referred to by the couples, happens only after an honest acceptance.

The statistics often lack to assess the situations of those children who have left their homes or who don’t know about their parents; whether they are alive or not. This category is the worst hit as they are neither classified as ‘orphans’ nor do they have a family whatsoever. Such affected children fail to have access to the ‘limited’ but available opportunities like the other orphans do and often lead a life of self-doubt and misery. Consequently, many children who end up on the streets suffer not only from physical abuse but a lot of emotional and mental stress which they fail to treat or diagnose due to obvious reasons.

One of the most absurd concepts heard back in the mid-’90s would probably be of single parents adopting children. Society wondered why single people would want to “spoil” their lives by not “settling down”, but rather choosing to adopt children and that too from other countries (different races). But what it failed to see was how these single people felt happy and complete and loved these kids like their own. Yet, even today with the stage of liberalism our world has reached, adoption of kids by single people is frowned upon and is generally discouraged.

Credits: PopSugar // Bethany Moore

Although UNICEF has encouraged such moves by the people and a good number of them have come up to provide a helping hand, politics, like always, becomes an obstacle that many cannot cross. Children who were born in China, Ethiopia, Ukraine, Haiti, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo were generally the ones to get adopted internationally. Of the majority of orphans, a striking 95% are over the age of five, thereby, giving homes to the youngest category of children in large numbers. The international adoptions were at its peak in 2004 but has been decreasing since then due to the restrictions imposed by the sending countries.

Whether the case includes the single people or the couples, adoption is beneficial for all, including the economy. An increase in the population often leads to a lot of politicians talking about ‘population control measures’ but not taking the required steps in that direction (with the exception of China’s stringent ‘One Child Policy’). One step to control the explosion of the population is to spread the awareness of adoption and how it helps children who don’t have parent(s) to get a family they deserve. Every child has the right to have a family and every person who wishes for a family, irrespective of his marital status, should have the opportunity to adopt.

Reda Aamna is a student pursuing English Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia.

Edited by: Samra Ejaz

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Jamia Review or its members.

What do you think?

Written by Reda Aamna

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

Fate: The Winx Saga – A Fantasy Thriller

Exploring the intricacies of Self Esteem and Psychological Well Being in the Sex Workers’ Community