We visited an orphanage recently and I saw this four and a half month old baby girl who has adactyly, she has missing digits in her right hand and right foot. her parents her left her there because of these missing fingers and toes. I tickled her chin and she smiled.
Most of the kids were three years and above. There were only two other infants, both girls. One baby was wrapped tightly in a sheet and gave my husband an angry frown, she was the youngest barely a month and a half old. The last one, the oldest I was told, was six months old, she lay in a dark corner in a cot and rocked herself, silently and expressionlessly. I wanted to spend some more time, stay and rock the one who rocked herself. Who left these little girls in care of strangers? We are visiting them again this Saturday. Is adactyly curable? Will this baby ever be able to use her right hand to write? What are the chances of her living a normal life? Can somebody tell me? She seemed alert otherwise.
I was glad these babies were being taken care of and terribly sad that this is all the care they were getting. No one to coo to them, no one constantly hovering over them, no one to come running if they cried, no one to rock and sing to them...
The Orphanage said we could sponsor a child if we wished to, and support her medical bills, milk, diapers etc if and until they are adopted. I can't get these babies out of my mind now. I wish I could bring at least one of them home to loving care, a family and a set of doting parents...
It seems once they are legally abandoned (given up by the mother, I think she needs to sign some papers) nearly all 'normal' babies do get adopted. They said there is a waiting list of parents looking to adopt babies. I am not convinced. If all babies get adopted why have they got so many older children, who look like they are three or four but are actually six or seven!
And why do we still have street children?
Edited to add:
ADOPTION PROCEDURE IN INDIA
Register with the agency.
Meet the Social Worker. Parents interact with the Social Worker individually also.
The Social Worker also visits your home. You may need your neighbors' references.
Some documents are required, your id proof, income proof, a medical report - all seem a sensible requirement in an attempt to ensure the children find stable and secure homes.
You pay the lawyer's fees (again makes sense) and sometimes the child's medical bills while in foster care or in the Orphanage.
Generally a few months wait is there, then you meet a baby, if you click you get to take the baby home but first one to three months you are legally only a 'foster parent'.
A social worker will come and meet you a few times during the first year.
Single mothers and even bachelors CAN adopt. For e.g. Sushmita Sen's daughter Rene Sen is an adopted child.
Older couples (45 and above) can adopt older children, 3-4 years old.
If you have a biological child, then if you have a daughter you can only adopt a boy baby, if you have a son you can only adopt a baby girl. It seems this was done to ensure that baby girls also find homes, most Indians want to adopt boys.
But why restrict those with daughters from adopting another girl?
I am not sure if these rules are followed very rigidly...
Some Adoption Stories - my next post.