Representative Image by Pexels from Pixabay

[The cases discussed below are real. I have changed the children’s name and some details to protect their privacy.]

Diya and Meenu were 3 and 5 years old when they were abandoned and brought into a government run child shelter. Lack of regular and timely follow-up by the local Child Welfare Committee meant that the girls were not immediately declared free for adoption, and continued to live in the shelter. Then more trauma happened. When Meenu turned 6 years old, she was shifted to a private shelter, while Diya continued at the government shelter because shelters in India are structured…


I met a couple over coffee to answer their questions about adoption in India. During the 2-hour chat, it became painfully clear to me that the husband wanted to adopt but the wife didn’t. He cared about giving a future to a child and was extremely excited about adoption. She saw adoption as an unnecessary step since they already had a biological child. I didn’t have the heart to tell the husband that adoption seemed unlikely for them. The wife was going to tell him anyway.

Few months later, a good friend of mine mentioned how he was keen on…


Few months back, my colleague and I got invited to a ladies’ luncheon to talk about our work in the child protection space. As soon as the talk got over, one lady approached my colleague and jumped into a story about how her nephew was adopted and how it had not worked out well for their family. While my colleague dealt with her, I quietly escaped to find better conversations. I neither have any interest in hearing a relative or parent complain about adoption, nor do their complaints worry me about adoption. …


हमारी एक पहचान की आंटी का फ़ोन आया। उनकी बहू के दूसरा बच्चा हुआ था और वो घर में एक आया रखना चाहती थी। यह आंटी पड़ी लिखी हैं और बचपन से मुझे पसंद हैं। मैंने उन्हें एक-दो लोगों के नाम दिए। फिर आंटी धीरे से बोली, “बेटा, हमें छोटी लड़की भी चलेगी। कोई पता हो तो बताना।” मुझे इतना बुरा लगा कि समझ नहीं आया कि फ़ोन बंद कर दूँ, या आंटी को उलटा बोलूँ। आंटी के लिए ज़िंदगी भर की इज़्ज़त एक क्षण में ख़त्म हो गयी। “आंटी मुझे नहीं पता,” बोल कर मैंने फ़ोन रख दिया।

ज़्यादा…


Many years ago I mentioned my desire to adopt to a colleague. I didn’t work with her everyday and met her rarely, but she came across as a sensible and kind person, so I felt comfortable sharing my thoughts about adoption. Her reaction surprised me. She told me that adoption wasn’t socially acceptable. I didn’t say anything. My brain couldn’t grasp how anyone could be so heartless about a vulnerable child getting a family. Would she rather have kids languishing in shelters, streets, or worse? …


It happens like clockwork. An advertising company or Bollywood director decides to use Adoption as a trope in their ads or movies. But they depict adoption in such a misguided and callous way that it ends up hurting adoptive families and children. Adoptive parents fight back and some advertising companies pull back the ads, but big name Bollywood directors and actors get away with it.

Here is what I don’t get about this. Why use adoption? Why even bring it up if you can’t put the effort to do proper research about it? Do you really want to be the…


I got married in my early twenties, which was too young or just right, depending on who you ask. But one thing that some people seemed to agree on was that my decision to only adopt children and not give birth, would surely result in regret one day. One comment was almost like a dire warning, “if you decide to only adopt, you will feel pain later in life.” Thankfully the belief that every child must have parents helped me ignore the comments.

Fast forward many years, and my husband and I are now adoptive parents of two daughters. An…


Not a day passes without news about a child being thrown in the garbage dump, or illegal adoption rackets hurting children, or children being abused in orphanages and shelters. Did you know, all of this is avoidable?

As a society, we judge and shame parents who are incapable or unwilling to raise their child. This judgement ultimately hurts the child because to avoid social shame, parents either quietly abandon the child in a horrible place, secretly give the child in illegal adoption, or keep the child in a neglectful environment.

Instead of judging and shaming parents, we should inform them…


“You should drop off your kids some day,” said a well-meaning acquaintance. She was inviting my kids to play with her kids. I was supposed to leave the kids at her place, then come back a couple of hours later to pick them up.

“Yeah maybe,” I hesitated, hoping that she would be too busy to fix a time and date.

I know I am the odd one out. My neighbourhood is a buzzing activity of people dropping off very young kids at each other’s place without a thought. I understand that a certain level of trust must exist between…


As a dark-skinned girl growing up in Northern India, my skin colour was an open topic for social commentary. Teachers asked me if I did indeed belong to Haryana/Punjab or did my ancestors migrate from a far off state where apparently all the dark-skinned people lived. Random relatives wondered how my fair-skinned mother could produce a dark-skinned child. Neighbours told me not to walk in the sun because it would make me even darker and that would be so undesirable. Shopkeepers looked at me twice when I was standing next to my mother wondering whose kid she had brought along.

Smriti Gupta

Adoption Writer. Child Rights Campaigner. I mostly write about Adoption, and sometimes about Parenting and Social Issues. Co-founder at www.waic.in

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store