Adoption as an Alternative Family System for Childless Couples in Kerala

  • Lizy P.J
Keywords: adoption, childless couple, parenthood, family, Kerala


Adoption is a process in which the adopted child is separated from his/herown family and parents, and is placed in a new family of the adoptiveparents. It involves a major shift in the life of all those who are involved init. Both the parents and the adopted child need to do a great deal ofadjustments throughout their life. For parents, adjustment to adoptionbegins with infertility and the consideration of adoption as a means ofachieving parenthood. It continues throughout the early family life cycleas they integrate their child fully into the family and begin a process ofsharing adoption information with him/her. The adoptive parents need tomake the child their own, accepting him/her entirely both in the presentand in the past and finally integrating him/her into the new family. Once
children know that they are adopted, they begin the process of adjustmentthat involves the integration of the meaning of their unique family statusand their dual connection to the two families into an emerging sense ofself. There are many factors that contribute to the successful creation of anew family through adoption. This article is intended to reflect on thepractice of adoption and the intentions/motivations/reasons for adoptionamong a sample of couples. The paper presents a study conducted amongthe adoptive parents in Kerala. A total of 356 adoptive parents from sixdistricts of the state were interviewed for the study. One of the major findingsof the study is that among the majority of the parents, the primary motivefor adoption was to have a child and thus completing their family, as theydo not have a child of their own. It is hoped that the findings anddescriptions will be helpful and that practitioners will find it useful for
their professional interventions with those adoptive families who are in need of support.