A very close family friend adopted a little girl from India as soon as she got married. In fact, it was one of the conditions she gave her husband before they got married! If he didn’t agree to adopt, she wouldn’t marry him, that’s how important it was to her. As a young girl, she grew up in a family that did a lot of charity work and community service and it was from that age she decided that one day she wanted to adopt and give a good life to a child who has been abandoned and possiblY even abused.

A few years after adopting her daughter, she gave birth to her son, because her husband also wanted to have their own birth-child. They now raise these two children as real brother and sister, and apart from her daughter’s slightly different features and looks, you wouldn’t be able to tell she was adopted.

However, it is not without its challenges. As her daughter began to grow up (she is now 12), some behavioural issues began to surface which proved to be quite a challenge to handle. But my friend had made sure to learn about all aspects of the process, including the emotional side. According to Adoption UK, pretty much every adopted child will have experienced some degree of abuse, either emotional (at the very basic level arising from being separated with their mother) or physical, or both. So she prepared herself as much as she could for this aspect of raising her adopted child.

She also had to delicately handle the relationship between her adopted child and her birth-child, ensuring that her adopted child was not made to feel different in any way, but this was really tough at times, especially when ignorant comments were made by others. I’m not sure whether her daughter knows she is adopted yet, but I’m sure at some level she must intuitively realise. And that could be another challenge in itself, telling her she is adopted while reassuring her that she is as loved as their birth-son.

But what is reassuring is that according to British law, an adopted child is, in law, exactly the same as a born-to child of the adopters. And that means that the parents can receive any applicable benefits, they can pass down their estate onto their adopted child as they can with their born-to children and they can also include their adopted child in their will. Interestingly, the adopted child is considered to be born on the date of adoption for inheritance purposes, which is really where the greatest legal impact arises.

I admire my friend for adopting her daughter. I believe it takes a big heart to love unconditionally in this manner, and she does it so beautifully.  It inspires me to think about whether I would adopt someday, but to be honest, right now the thought of having a child freaks me out period, so I think I’ll park this thought for later!