Child Adoption, Cause, Implications and Public Perception
Child adoption is a socially sanctioned practice which has fast become an integral parcel of human social activity from antiquity through the medieval to the modern industrial capitalist period. Although, before the beginning of seventeenth century, the institution of child adoption hardly existed in the very way and manner as we see it con temporarily. However, the first law establishing this socially sanctioned relationship of parents and child who are not biologically bonded had initial appearance in the code of Hammurabi drafted by the Babylonians around 2285BC, which strongly provided that “if a man has taken a young child from his water to sonship and has reared him up to maturity, no one has any claim against the nursling”.
Similarly, adoption was also practiced in Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Middle East, Asia and in some societies in Africa and Oceania (Carp P1-3). Perhaps, child adoption norms and practice differs significantly among societies and in the response of the society towards different dimensions of change. Adoption is a process where a person assumes the parenting for another and responsibilities from the original parent or parents. (Pamela, 2006). According to the 2003 Unicef child’s right law, adoption is seen as the taking care of a child who is not biologically that of the adoptive parent and through it permanently takes away the rights and obligation of the biological parents (Unicef, 2003).
In the same vein, it could be seen as a systematised legal procedure that transfers a child who is the biological or birth child of one man and woman into the legal child of another adult or adults. (Jerome Smith, 2005). It is therefore deductable from the above that child adoption is the legally and socially sanctioned rather than the natural or biogenic way of acquiring a child. More still, it is a means of solving the critical parental needs of a parentless child, creates ample opportunity for childless couples to acquire a child, not undermining the similitude of providing a platform that would aid couples with same sex children to acquire opposite sex of choice. Sometimes, though the baby that is born is precious and beautiful and wonderfully lovable, the birth parents cannot afford to take care of the baby (Unicef, 2003). A baby needs a lot of care, someone has to feed the baby, change the baby’s diaper when it is wet or dirty, bathe him/her , hug, tickle, read stories, makes sure that he or she takes naps and goes to doctor for regular check-up. When the child is older, parents makes sure he/she goes to school, receives adequate fundamental socialization, does home work, perhaps, adoption is a process that our society developed so that children can grow in loving and supportive environment not minding if he/she had no parent (Karen Maitland, 1999).
All the people who engage in the practice of adoption are making an irrevocable and life-long decision of vital importance to their future lives. So anxiety is inevitable (Charles Lorring Brace, 2007).
As the adoptive parents confronts the challenges of full social recognition of their adopted child, then adopted child on their own is entrapped to the pressing issue surrounding the acceptance of comparative strangers as their new parents and the adjustment to their way of physical, psychological and emotional up-bringing and care. This study in specificity focused on child adoption, it causes, implications and public perception: A study of the under graduate students of Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki.
Nigeria through successive leaderships introduced variegation of measures to meet up with the graven challenges of her dependent children population without adequate loving and supportive surrounding or home. One of these measures for Nigerian children welfare services is adoption. Perhaps, adoption has provided the most advantageous appropriate solution for such children’s problem and also stirred opportunity for childless couples to own a child. Adoption practice has that advantages of providing an abandoned, parentless, and impoverished homeless children with the affection and emotional security needed to develop and mature into a resourceful adults who could contribute their meaningful portion of obligation towards nation building and transformation of human society (Unicef, 2003). This impliedly means that adoption creates requisite treatment necessary for a conducive development of child personality in contrast to the mass treatment with the possible contamination associated with public institution for children at remand homes.
Modern day adoption in Nigeria was introduced concomitantly with the emergence of industrialisation and urbanisation; several social analysts purported that ignorance and cultural incompatibility with the notion of child adoption constitutes the major impediments to the success and full ground gaining of the practice. In Eastern States of Nigeria comprising Ebonyi, Anambra, Enugu, Imo, Abia adoption is guided by the 1965 Eastern Nigeria adoption law. Other states have their own adoption laws fashioned in consonance with the English adoption law of 1950 and 1959 (Agowaike, 2006).
In harmony with these laws or edits, any person deemed eligible and has rendered the legal requirement can adopt. However, Cross River State enacted its own adoption law in 1981. In the same light, there exist the 1979 adoption promulgation by Bende sate which among several things it stipulates firmed that adoption shou ld be for those children below eighteen years and whose parents could not be traced after due enquiry and certified by juvenile court (Suzodike, 2006:18). There also exits the Lagos state adoption act of 1968 designed in harmony with the stipulation of English adoption law of 1950. Ogun and Oyo States have adoption law respectively and these laws clearly out lined who may be adopted, who can adopt and the socially sanctioned relationship between the adopter and the adoptee. It also stipulated the age brackets required of the adoptee and the prospective adopters. The Northern and middle Belt region of Nigeria have no recognition for child adoption. This is answerable to their religious belief system. The Islamic community does not recognise adoption or adopted child as dully recognised child of a person aside biological tie. Their fundamental criterion for acquiring a child in specificity is biologically conditioned. In this study we shall empirically delve deep into child adoption, its causes and implications and public perceptions.
The problems associated with adoption practice are numerous, not just for the adopted child but also to be the adoptive parents or homes. The recent social debates on child adoption are answerable to the unprecedented glaring rate at which the practice is perpetuated in recent times. Namara in his adoption study in USA (1975), found out that many couples were applying for children but the agency workers were very stringent, selective and demanding that applicants meet a rigid and rigorous stipulated qualification of social economic standard. To this end, the poor and socio-economically disadvantaged couples were unable to adopt and since the eligible couples are hand-few, these children are denied the chances of being adopted. The situation is quite indifferent in Nigeria adoption milieu. For instance a child that was adopted by Mr. And Mrs. Nwaeze in 2008 received nothing out of the adoptive parents will on their death in 2009, this child was forced out of the adoptive home and refused claims of his adoptive parent’s assets. This case although was taken to magistrate court Abakaliki and is awaiting judicial decision. In this light, one may wisely query, what are the benefits of adoption for the child?
In Nigeria and indeed Africa continent, children is the hallmark and fundamental concentration of any marriage, as a focal point of every marriage, a child is essential traditional reason for marriage, but sometimes this traditional expectations are defeated by the issue of childless. Childlessness has accounted for several issue of marriage divorce and still counting, bearing in mind the negative social inclination, impressions and mixed feelings associated with bareness and child adoption. Variegation of reactions resulting from the afore-mentioned problem affecting adoption practice required clear and well informed attitudinal repositioning of the general public for the practice to thrive. Therefore, the major focus of this empirical study is to critically unearth the social issue of child adoption, investigate further into its causes and implications, not under-mining the public perception associated with the practice
The study will provide answers to the following questions;
- Why do people engage in adoption?
- What are the things that constitute life-long issues in adoption?
- What are the implications of child adoption?
- What are the public perceptions about child adoption practice?
The main goal of this empirical study is to identify, uncover and examine the variegations of issues associated with adoption, its causes, implications and public perception (A study of the undergraduate students of Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki). The specific objectives are:
- To investigate the social issues associated with child adoption.
- To identify the various typologies and causes of child adoption
- To assess and examine the consequence of child adoption on both the adoptive child and the adoptive parents.
- To investigate the perception of the general public about the practice of child adoption.
- To make possible recommendation based on the finding to eliminate the difficulties associated with the practice.
The research will be helpful especially to the policy maker, Government, General public, students and researches.
To the policy maker: The result of this study will enrich their understanding and give them the nitty-gritty information about child adoption, which will guide and help them know how to tackle the problems of adoption.
To Government: This research will be of immense benefit to the government to understanding the incidences of child adoption and the variegations of social issues associated with the practice and as such provide them with a glimpse of relevant informative framework that would profit-their policy formulation which will address the attendant problems of child adoption.
To general public: This study will re-orient the general public and re-direct their perception and attitudes towards adoption, while giving them the picture of non-dividing line between biological and adopted children.
To students: The study will help them in the pursuit of their academic especially students in the discipline of sociology who have the interest of becoming a social welfare officer.
To researcher: This study will be of an immense benefit to researchers who may wish to carry out a research project on this particular social issue. More still, the study generally will expose the importance of child adoption and educate childless couples and same sex children couples about the practice of adoption.
It is germane for a better understanding of this work that definition be given to key relevant term relating to this study.
- A Child: A Child refers to a young person between the period of infancy and youths. (Male or Female). The United Nation declaration of a child (1959). Provides that a child is that person below eighteen years.
- Adoption: This is a conceptual scheme used to refer to the legitimate transfer of parental rights from the natural or biological parents to adoptive parents, by a court through an adoption order. This means that it is a legal process by which people acquires a child who is not naturally theirs and or have a biological bond. It is the legitimate transfer of parental rights from the natural or biological parents to an adoptive parents after a due accomplished legal requirements
- Adoptive Parents: This refer to couples who are legally qualified to take up a child who is not biologically or naturally theirs to become their own. It refers to couples who are entitled to lay through legal provision the ownership of a child who bears no biological tie with them through court adoption order.
- Adopted Child: This is the child whose natural parental rights have been transferred or altered to his adoptive parents, through the backing of statutory regulations and stipulations.
- Biological Parents: These are biological parents of the child. They are the families into which the adopted child is naturally born. They are the parents who gave up their child for direct or indirect adoption and therefore are isolated from any right (s) on the child once the adoption is instituted.
- Adoptive Home: This is the family into which an adopted child will live.
- Fosterage: This refers to the rearing of a child by people who are not their biological or natural parent. In this arrangement, children in dire need of short or long term care can adjust their emotive tie about their family situation and accept the reason for cohabiting with a substitute family. However, in the arrangement, the child is allowed to maintain their own name and identity based on personal volition.
- Orphan: This is a situation where a child is parentless which chiefly results from the death of birth parents. In this situation such child can be adopted.
- Juvenile courts: These are courts where under aged (under 18) who had committed crimes are being handled. The establishment of this court is fundamentally to hear and determine all cases relating to juvenile.
- Child welfare services: This refers to public social service initiative chiefly constituted for parental care and supervision of children. It is saddled with the responsibility of promoting and enhancing the general well- being of the child, particularly the physical, psychological and emotional disposition of the child. The onus of this institution or establishment is to care for children through intelligently planned programmes designed to benefit the children.
- Guadia Ad-Laitern: This is a latin maxim and legal term which refer to the social welfare officer which the court has to appoint as to help investigate and report back to court all necessary facts concerning adoption processes.
The care of a child is a continuous process which begins at the pre-natal stage and lingers through the period of post-natal toddlers, pre-school, primary and secondary school age and adolescence to youth. It is indeed a labourous adventure which requires hard work. These fundamental treats of love, care and supports are denied some children who for one reason or the other are parentless. In this regard, adoption remains the only alternative. Adoption is a process whereby a person assumed the parenting for another and in so doing permanently transfers all right and responsibilities from the original parent. (Pamela, 2006). Unlike guardianship or other system designed for the care of the young, adoption intends to effect a permanent change in the status and as such required societal recognition, either through legal or religious sanction.
Historically, some societies have enacted specific laws governing adoption where as others have endeavoured to achieve adoption through less formal means, notably is contracts that specified inheritance rights and parental responsibilities. The earliest adoption laws are found in the code of Hammurabi “if a man takes a child in his name, accepts and raises him as a son, the grown up may not be demanded back (Sorosky Baran and Pamor, 1978: 92)
Modern system of adoption arising in the 20th century tends to be highly designed and governed by comprehensive statutes and regulation. Legislation for adoption varied on several accounts but generally reflects the fundamentality of promoting and supporting the welfare of the child and or young persons. Comprehensive legislation for adoption practice began in United State as far as 1850s. (Whilmore. W.1876, 57). In 1851 the State of Massachusetts passed an adoption statues establishing court procedure and principle guide which were to serve as model for other states. This law stipulated that the child’s welfare was to be at the heart and or the primary consideration in adoption. It established further that the state through the court has an obligation to protect biological parents from an uninformed and coerced decision of relinquishing their children, and the adoptive parents from uniformed and nasty decision of taking a child who aren’t biologically theirs. These principles are the hallmarks of current adoption laws (Stestay D. A. 2008).
Adoption process follows same model in United State and Canada, (Cole E.S. 1996: 464). In United State, licensed agencies are either privately funded or public and tax supported. In California, a federal law demanded a formal written agreement which constitutes a harmonious binding contract between the state and the adoptive parents and ensure the continuity of the subsidy. There is specificity of the assistance and payable amount in the agreement as well as the types of services or other assistance to be provided the child and his family and the duration of the agreement. Similarly, the agreement must also embody the stipulation that the subsidy will remain in effect if the family lives the state.
Other provision of the agreement which is significantly included is procedure for re-certification of eligibility, the base and mechanism for future benefit adjustments and the parent’s right to fair hearing in the event of disagreement with the agency about the subsidy: Every adoptive (Segal. C. 1985:201). The State of California passed a law which was effective on January 1, 1988, and required that every family involved with peculiar needs of adoption receives a written explanation of the difference between adoptions subsides and foster care benefit (Elvin A.U. 2009).
Adoption in Nigeria was introduced in response to the pull and push impulses from industrialization and urbanization, which is dully established by the adoption law of 1962. Fundamentally, adoption in Nigeria is only practiced in Eastern and Western part of the country. The Northern and Middle Belt region of the country has no recognition for adoption or so to speak, this is indeed answerable to their religious belief and the teaching of Islamism which zeros every gestures supporting adopting.
As a society centred discipline, sociologists and social workers have been taking keen interests in adoption procedures, causes, implications and public perceptions. Based on their findings, the sharpest indicating of adoption is childlessness and parentless. According to Anderson. J. (1999: 213), if at all every measures is carried out and conception failed to occurs, it then may be wise to consider adopting a baby. Even the health scientist believes adoption have the alternative substitute for a natural or biological child.
Adoption is one of the most complementing, most enduring, and incidentally the cheapest way of meeting the graven needs of certain children who are socially deprived and are in need for normal home life (Pringle. G. 2007: 95). According to the conceptualisation of Christine Lowery (2008:177), most families acquires children through bearing, other means of becoming a parent are available in the form of legal adoption and step parenthood. The issue of male child as a centre piece of inheritance in most Nigerian societies exposes the value people from that part of the society place on male children. In the same manner, (Weinsten. Z. 2001: 96-98), furthered that in modern times great importance are reserved for male children
One further set of potential stressful circumstances associated with adoption is the way in which the meaning of adoption is conveyed to the child and what and how lie is told about his biological parents. (Pringle G. 2007: 96) It is hard to explain necessary truth while also maintaining as satisfactory an image possible of the natural parents and without implying that they are neglected
Fundamentally, telling is inevitably seen as setting in complex motive and which must change the family dynamics and which may create problems from the growing adopted child. (Kowe N. 2002: 57). This is all about getting the children know that he or she is not the natural child of the family to which he/she is living. It has a lot of implications. Even if a child is not told of his or her adoptive status by the adoptive parents or agency, the child might be told of it outside the home circle, which will generate more complications (Awachike A. O. 2005).
Perhaps, it is generally believed that no matter the kind treatment on a child, immediately he/she founds out you are not the natural parent, the child will be shocked and most often develops a serious psychological and socially deformed attitude of loss. Meanwhile he/she will become afraid that the adoptive parent may reduce their love, care and supports (Uwadiegwu A. 2007). Emphasizing further in this argument Obikezie U. S and Mereji .S. (2002: 80) posited that at first, adoption merely provides a person without a family the opportunity to immortalize his names; later adoption was a means of securing an heir to the property of a childless man. Eventually adoption was tailored towards affording a child to a childless couple.
As parts of the effect of world war II, adoption become a more permanent arrangement designed to give a stable, permanent and irrevocable home to a child who is deprived of one. This answers the big questions about the modifications and principle and values of adoption.
Adoption is both a legal sanction and a social welfare service. The needs for this have been expressed in several bills of right for children including the child right act of 2003 (Unicef, 2003). According to Ekpe. C. P. and Mamah S. C. (2002:127). The Eastern region passed its adoption statutory law known as the “Eastern Nigeria law on adoption 1965”, the five (5) states of the Eastern region of the country carved their adoption practiced in harmony with the stipulations and guiding scheme of this law. The law provides that juvenile who would be adopted includes.
- Those who court is satisfied are abandoned, rejected or ill-tested.
- The juvenile whose parents cannot provide adequate care, are unable to provide adequate counsel or are withholding consent unreasonably.
- Those who were given up voluntarily by their parents or those whose parents are dead and cannot be found. (Eastern Nigeria adoption law, 1965, sect. 9).
It further stipulates that any person can be authorized by court to adopt a child provided he /she meet up with the legal requirements. However, in section 6, the law outlined that the prospective adoptive person must be a person of reputable and commendable character and that no reward or payment will be made to the adoptive parent for adopting the child, except that the court may sanction. Subsection (3) of section (6) says that the welfare officer shall in every case present a report to assist the court on an application for an order to determine whether any person who is not a parent of the juvenile has any right or obligation in respect of the juvenile and whether the consent of that person ought to be obtained.
However, a sole applicant will not be allowed to adopt a juvenile of opposite sex unless in an exceptional circumstances whereby the court could be justified before it is done, this to avoid sexual harassment, especially of the female child. Before adopting order is granted, the court sees that necessary per- conditions have been religiously observed and fulfilled. The court must be satisfied, exceptionally otherwise, that every counsel required by the law has been obtain and also that the application understands the nature and consequences of the adoption order. The court must also see to it that the order is in the maintenance, care, education and general welfare of the child (seet.7).
An application or one of them (i.e. in cases of joint applicant), must be a Nigerian (sect, 8). This section entrenched further that for interim order, the order may be in relation to maintenance, supervision, education and welfare of the juvenile under the custody or supervision of the welfare officer (guardian and Litern) section (8) and (11) states that: the guardian and litern will give the court every important information from the investigation carried out as to ensure that the adoption is properly followed.
Perhaps, section (4) says, an application or in case of joint application, none of them should be less than twenty five (25) years old and at least (21) years older than the juvenile. Section (4) and (25) buttressed that an adoptive parent who does not want his identity to be disclosed must personally attend the court hearing. The section (4) adoption law (No 12) of Eastern Nigeria region 1965, sub section (4) stipulates that all cases of adoption must be through the chief social welfare officer before the court; the court should seek the consent of the social welfare, sub-section (3) of section (2) states that the welfare officer should represent the interest of the juvenile in any proceedings with respects to an adoption order of an interim adoption.
Rules under this section provides that the welfare officer should prepare for the consideration of the court on an applicant or an order, a report of assistance of the court in determining whether the order will be in the overall interest of the applicant and or the welfare of the juvenile, having regards to the ability of the applicants to maintain, care for and educate the juvenile.
Adoption order shall not be made in respect of the child unless the applicant has at least three months before his intention to apply. In section (3), the marriage between adoptive parents or his natural child and an adopted juvenile is highly prohibited. Nigeria society has a strict believe in inheritance and succession as regards to marriage and succession, the same relationship that would exist between natural parents and a child and that between the adopted and the adopter (sect. 14).
An adopted male child cannot marry the daughter of adoptive parent or a female adopted child adopted by the same person, because adoption creates blood tie or consanguinity and affinity between them. If an adopter dwells in the estate after the adoption order have been made his estate will be transferred to the adopted child as a lawful child. Consequently, section (15) outlined that a person adopted jointly will be regarded as a brother or sister to the natural or adopted child of the adoptive parents.
Adoption is a life-long and inter-generational process that affects the status of the triad; the birth family, the adoptive child and the adoptive families forever. Adoption, especially of adolescent can lead to both joy and tremendous pains. In cognisance of the core issues in adoption, the triad members and professionals working in adoption should arm themselves with glimpse understanding of the residual effects of the adoption experience. Fundamentally, irrespective of the promising and blissful leverages which adoption harbours for both the adoptive child and the adoptive parent, there are seven core life-long issues which accompany adoption practice regardless of the circumstance of the milieu or the characteristics of the participants (Paul M.B. 2008).
These seven-fold core age long adoption issues are here under discussed;
i. ISSUE OF LOSS
Adoption is created through loss, without loss there would be no need for adoption. Loss then is at the hub of the propelling wheels of adoption. All birth parent, adoptive parents and adoptive child shares in having encountered at least one major life – changing loss before becoming involved in adoption. Adoption as a life altering event is perpetuated by either loss of family, (for adoptive children,) loss of a child or fertility (for adoptive parents) and loss of necessary life opportunities to take care of their birth child (for birth parent).
Adoption transposes people from one location on the human mosaic into the totally new configuration. (Gilson A.K, 2005) adoptive parents whether through infertility, failed pregnancy, still birth, or the death of a child have suffered and or encountered one of the greatest blows prior to adoption. They have lost the dream of a biological child of their own. No matter how well resolved, the loss of becoming a natural child appears irreplaceable, it continues to affect the adoptive family remarkably at a variegations of points throughout the family’s love cycle (Berman and Buffered,2007).
Birth parents loss perhaps forever, the child to whom they are genetically connected. Consequently, they undergo multiple losses associated with loss of role, the loss of contact and perhaps the loss of the emotive and affective support for their birth child.
Adoptive child suffers their first loss at the initial separation from the birth family. Awareness of their adoptive status not minding how hidden is inevitable of being revealed one day. Even if the loss is beyond conscious awareness or recognition, it affects the adoptive child in a very propound level. Any subsequent loss or the perceived threat of separation becomes more formidable for adoptees than their non adopted peers.
The issue of loss in adoption has no closure to the experience. It is not a single occurrence; there are the initial loss, identifiable loss, and immutable secondary sub-losses. Against this backdrop, Marshal D.S (2007), categorically opined that loss in adoption is an evolving process which creates themes of losses in both the individual and the family development
ii. ISSUE OF REJECTION
Feelings of loss are exacerbated by keen feeling of rejection (Patrick Sheahan, 2005). Despite how the adoptive parents, adoptive child or the birth family thrive to decipher the feeling of loss, the truth remains, the social perception and attitude towards them propagates the projection of rejection. They are always sensitive to the slightest limit of rejection, causing them either to avoid situation where they might be rejected, thereby lacking the sense of freedom. In accordance with Fatima Mernissi (2007), social bondage is the synonym.
Adoptive child seldom see their placement into adoption by the birth parents as a reflection of total rejection. Society promulgates the idea that the good adoptee is the one who is not curious and accepts adoption without questions at the other extreme end, thus the bad adoptive child who is constantly questioning creates feeling of rejection on the plain of the adoptive parents. (Thalia C. E. et al, 2008). Adoption parents may sense that their bodies have rejected them if they are infertile. This impression may lead the infertile couple, for example to propagate the feeling of having been rejected by God. Worse even, when they come to adoption, the adoptive child possibly unconsciously anticipates the birth parents rejection and criticism of their parenting. Adoptive parents struggles with issues of entitlement, wondering if perhaps they were never meant to be parents, especially to this child, according to Mary lane (2007), the adopting family then may watch for the adopter to reject them interpreting minor child as actions as rejection.
iii. SENSE OF GUILT/SHAME
The sense of deserving their rejection leads both the birth parents, adoptive parents and adoptive child to experience tremendous guilt and shame. They commonly believe their loss and or rejection as a result of their wrong deeds. For example, the shame of being involved in adoption per se exists passively, often without recognition or the crisis of infertility and or the shame of having been given remains unspoken, often as an unconscious motivator.
According to Silver Stain and Kaplan (2007), the adoptive child suggests that something is wrong about them which caused the adoption; this self accusation is intensified by the secrecy often present in past and present adoption practices. These factors combined to lead the adoptive child to conclude that the feelings of guilt and shame are indeed valid (Kubler Ross, 2006).
Adoptive parents when diagnosed as infertile frequently believe they must have committed a great sin to have received such a harsh sentence. They are ashamed of themselves, of their defective reproductive organs and of their inability to bear children
iv. SENSE OF GRIEF
Every loss in adoption must be grieved. According to Kubler Ross (2006). There are five stages of adoption grief. Firstly, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and lastly Acceptance. Adoptees in their youth finds it difficult to out date their loses
Birth parents may undergo an initial, brief, and intense period of grief at the time of the loss of their child, but are encouraged by well meaning friends and family to move on in their lives and believe that their child is better. The grief however, does not vanish and in fact, it has been reported that birth mothers may deny the experience for up to ten-year (Compbell, 2007).
Adoptive parents grief over the inability to bear children, although mostly blocked by family and well meaning friends who may wish to encourage them to adopt, as if children are inter changeable. The grief of adoption is a continued and ceaseless, even as the adopted child grows up, since the adoptive child can never fully meet the fantasies and expectations of the adoptive parents.
v. SENSE OF QUESTIONABLE IDENTITY
Adoption in most cases and in most societies threatens the identity of both adoptive parents and the adopted child. This situation complicates adoption practices gravely. Adoptive parents who were not parents suddenly becomes parents, adoptees born into one family, a family probably nameless to them, now lose an identity and then borrow one from the adopting family. (Kirk. J.C. 2009). The above illustration contributes a huge question mark on the practice of adoption.
Adoptee lack of medical history, genetics, religious and historical information is plagued by such question as; who are they? Where were they born? Where they a mistake or never meant to have been born? This lack of identify may lead adoptees particularly in adolescent years to seek out ways to locate their birth family or join variegation of group that would make them more belonging and identified. (Wilson L. J. 2008). Certified that adolescent adoptee are over represented among those who join sub-cultural groups, run away or totally reject their adoptive home.
For many couple in our society, identity is significantly tied to procreation, against this background; adoptive couples are handicapped by the lack of positive identity associated with being an adoptive parent (Kirk, 2007: 138).
vi. DISJOINTED INTIMACY
The multiple ongoing losses in adoption coupled with feeling of rejection, shame and grief as well as an incomplete sense of self may impede the development and dimension of intimacy among adoptive parents and their adopted child. (Andre Cole, 2007).
In most cases, adoptive parents are significantly left in glimpse of confusion, and in some respects, their adopted children seem to hold back a quality parcel of themselves in their relationship. According to Elide Greg, 2007. Adoptive mothers indicated that ever as an infant, the adoptee was not cuddly, furthering that many adoptees as teens truly have never felt close to anyone. Some declared a life time of emptiness relating to a longing for the birth mother they may never see.
Thus, Falhberg A. B (2007: 213), there is always a multiple difficulties in early bonding and attachment among adoptive parents and their adopted children. The adopted intimacy issue are particularly evident in relationship with members of their peer and revolves around question about the adoptee conception, biological and or genetic concern etc. (Ferdinand George Waldmuller, 2005).
vii. THREAT TO SELF CONTROL /MASTERY
Adoption alters the course of someone’s life. This shift in most cases results to additional hurdles for both the adoptive parents and the adoptive children in their development and may hinder growth, self-actualization and the evolution of self control.
Adoptive parents and the adoptee are forced to give up controls: For adoptive parents, the intricacies of the adoption process leads to the feeling of helplessness. These feeling sometimes make adoptive parents to view themselves not entitled or qualified to be parents, leading mostly to laxity in parenting. Alternatively adoptive parents may thrive to regain their loss of control by becoming over protective and impermissible, resulting to rigidity in the parent/ adoptee relationship.
Adoptees are keenly aware that they are not party to the decision that led to their adoption. They had no control over the loss of their birth family or the choice of the adoptive family. The adoption proceeded with adults making perpetual and irreversible life altering choices for them. These unnatural changes of course impinged on growth towards self-actualization and self control. Adolescents adoptee attempting to master the loss of control they have experience in adoption frequently engage in power struggle with their adoptive parents and other authority figures. They may lack internalized self-control leading to a lowered sense of self-responsibility. These patterns frequently passion aggressive in nature and many continues into adulthood.
FORMS AND CAUSES OF CHILD ADOPTION
Adoption has indeed become a widespread practice which perpetuates both legal and social ownership of an adopted child by his/her adoptive parents who are not biologically bonded. Contemporarily, adoption practice can be categorically typified into open or closed adoption. Although, other forms of adoption exist, which are briefly elucidated as follows:
—————-not complete———–not complete————–not complete——————–
This article was extracted from a Project Research Work/Material Topic “CHILD ADOPTION, CAUSE, IMPLICATIONS AND PUBLIC PERCEPTION (A STUDY OF THE UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS OF EBONYI STATE UNIVERSITY, ABAKALIKI).”