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Children deserve happy homes
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Children deserve happy homes

Adopting a child in Pakistan is difficult. There are outdated laws and socio-cultural factors that create barriers to adoption. Samara Ali, a 27-year-old Correspondent from Pakistan argues that these barriers limit the chances of unwanted children securing happier lives.

 

The pain of childbirth is easily forgotten when a mother cradles her newborn for the first time. That special moment is often filled with joy, relief and tenderness. But this isn’t the case for many new moms in Pakistan. If a baby girl is conceived out of wedlock or has a family that doesn’t have the means to provide for her, that infant may be killed by her mother.

According to a report in Dawn; the bodies of at least 379 babies, mostly girls, were found by the Edhi Foundation discarded in open spaces in the city in 2019. Saad Edhi, the spokesperson for the charity was quoted as having said some people do not want girl children while some mothers are pressured by family members to abort their baby girls. 

In other instances, if the mother carries the child to full term, the infant is left on the doorstep of an orphanage. Humanitarian organisation like the Edhi Foundation and Alkhidmat, do their best to ensure that a child without a family is not left without a childhood.

But why shouldn’t more children be given the chance to experience a loving family?

Adoption is one means of providing a home for unwanted children. There are many couples who are unable to conceive. According to the Pakistan Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, in 2017 the infertility rate was around 22%. Although some couples try assisted reproductive technology (ART) such as Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) this doesn’t guarantee pregnancy. When ART fails the couple, family doctors and gynecologists can recommend adoption. But only a few do.

There are a number of cultural barriers to adoption in Pakistan. Many biological parents, for example, frown upon adoption because they believe that adoptive parents cannot care for a child in the same way that they can. 

Additionally, adoption does not exist as a legal procedure in Islam. Children do not take the names of their adoptive parents and are not entitled to the legal rights, like inheritance, that biological children have. Instead, adoptive parents provide the children with care, affection, protection and financial support without the legal status.

Adoptive parents may however apply for guardianship in Pakistan.The process is however demanding because of outdated laws. The adoption of children by persons outside of Pakistan is even more of a hassle because there are no laws governing this matter.

To address this, we as a society must change our way of thinking about adoption.

Adoption provides an opportunity for infertile couples to experience the joy of parenthood, and for orphans to experience a happy family life with parents who are more emotionally, and economically capable of providing for them.

 

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Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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About Samara Ali: I’m currently a graduate student who has always harboured an interest in speaking on current issues through her writing. I hope to contribute greatly to the missing Pakistani narrative in a world bustling with opinions.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles

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