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Inspiring Pune Mother Quit Her Job To Set Parenting Goals For Adoptive Parents!

Smriti an electrical engineer, who worked for the Wikimedia Foundation in Europe, returned to India in 2014. She quit her full-time job last year to dedicate her life to the cause of adoption.

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“Adoption is not about giving a childless couple a kid, but giving a child a family,” says 37-year-old Smriti Gupta.

An adoptive mother herself to two beautiful girls (aged six and five), this Pune-based woman’s parenting ideas are something each of us can learn from. Smriti an electrical engineer, who worked for the Wikimedia Foundation in Europe, returned to India in 2014.

She quit her full-time job last year to dedicate her life to the cause of adoption.

Smriti Gupta Pune mother adoptive
Smriti with her daughter Raghuvanshika

As an adoption campaigner and activist, she works towards creating awareness as well as increasing the number of adoptions in India, with special emphasis on older children and those with special needs. She is also closely associated with Families of Joy Foundation, a community of adoptive parents passionately working to promote adoption.

“India has a huge demand for the adoption of young children, who fall in the so-called ‘normal’ category. But the moment a prospective adoptive child even has a special need, something as minor as an eye-squint or perhaps is older and comes as part of a sibling duo, he/she is unwanted,” she shares.

One of the major outcomes of the work she has been doing with the Families of Joy Foundation since last year is the proposed recommendations she drafted to allow visibility to special needs kids on Central Adoption Resource Authority’s (CARA) adoption list.


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Speaking to The Better India, Smriti highlights a few challenges the adoption ecosystem in India is grappling with. Sharing a real-life case, she says, “In one of our shelters, three years ago, a man who had lost his wife decided to leave his 3-month-old child. He told the shelter authorities that he would remarry and take the child back. Today the kid is three. Either the man never remarried or has forgotten completely about the child. In this case, this young kid who falls in the normal category and has a very high probability of being adopted cannot be adopted, because the parental rights haven’t been terminated.”

It gets worse if the child has even mild disabilities, deformities or diseases or is not of the right age or is too old and so on and so forth.

“Prospective adoptive parents spend almost five years waiting for a ‘normal’ child. Instead of waiting for a young kid to reach the specific age for adoption, why not help them adopt an older kid who genuinely needs a home and a family at that point?” asks Smriti.

She describes her own journey as an adoption counsellor as a rollercoaster ride.

Smriti Gupta Pune mother adoptive
“There are days when you counsel about 20 prospective adoptive couples and none of them decide to go ahead. It is disheartening. But then there are also days when a child gets a home and a new family. You watch how their life changes and that happiness supersedes any of the bad days. One such case was when a family I counselled decided to adopt a five-year-old girl with an amputated leg.” she says proudly.

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Speaking about her the challenges many adoptive parents face, she says, “The key to being an adoptive parent in the initial years is to grapple and overcome one’s own fears. Everything else is secondary. When prospective adoptive parents ask me, ‘Am I gonna be okay?’ I tell them, ‘You are fine. You need to worry about the kid.”

She describes how it takes most children weeks or sometimes months to settle down. “Many kids at a tender age have witnessed harsh realities that leave an impact. They are anxious after they are suddenly transported to a new place among new people and told, ‘now this is your family’. And these initial weeks and months are not only full of turmoil for the kid, but also for the parents. You have gathered all the strength, bravery and patience you possess and constantly tell yourself that ‘It is going to be okay.’”


READ MORE: How Thousands of Rotis Made By This Mother Fuelled her Son’s UPSC Dream!


Another sensitive area that Smriti explores is whether or not adoptive parents should speak to their kids about it when they grow up.

Smriti Gupta Pune mother adoptive

“While my younger daughter has no recollection, my older daughter remembers that she came from someplace (shelter) and had many questions. We speak about it openly. She is always delighted when I tell her how it took us so much time to find her and therefore how special she is to us. She is six now and thinks all kids come from somewhere before they find their families. As she grows older and questions of ‘how babies are born’ come my way, I intend on telling her that she was born to another mom. But perhaps they felt she had to go to a second mom.”

In many cases, adoptive parents deny their children the right to know about their birth parents fearing the child may want to trace them. Smriti feels these thoughts are sometimes based on uninformed and unjustified fears.

“Personally, I think every kid has the right to know about their biological parents. You as a parent need to understand that this curiosity doesn’t mean they will abandon you.”

In her message to adoptive parents, Smriti says, “Introspect why you want to adopt, build a blinding self-confidence that you can do it and commit your life to this child. You will change his/her life. In the process, they will change yours too.”


This Mother’s Day, join Seven Seas and TheBetterIndia, and be a part of spreading the gift of love to hundreds of children across India!
#UnlockPotential

Register for the event now.

Unable to view the above button? Click here


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