An adoptive couple has been hauled over the coals on Twitter after a user posted about their attempt to 'return' a child they adopted because she wasn't 'learning things fast' enough. The story prompted a conversation around adoption and the effect this instability has on them.
The screenshot that went viral is of an unnamed user claiming that a couple wanted to return their adopted girl after doctors recommended “therapies to overcome her slow learning.”
The Quint spoke to Dr Geet Oberoi, a child specialist who runs an organisation that guides teachers and parents in how to help children with learning disabilities. She said that such incidents can cause serious harm to children who are already coping with “abandonment problems.”
“Adopted children from a very early age cope with abandonment issues. If the adoptive parents also return the child over whatever issues, this can have serious repercussions and affect their self-esteem.”Dr Geet Oberoi, Child Specialist
She is also of the opinion that adoptive parents who wish to return children due to disabilities should face consequences.
“Such parents should be heavily penalised. This is not a Big Bazaar. If couples return children due to their disabilities, the rights of such people to adopt kids should be taken away.”Dr Geet Oberoi, Child Specialist
On whether adoption centres should be more stringent during the initial stage of parents’ verification, Dr Oberoi said that theoretically, centres run "their own verification process" and even after adoption, they send officers to the homes of the adoptive parents for monthly checks.
She also said that the centres are usually "very transparent” in informing prospective parents about any disabilities. Though, she added, signs of learning disabilities in children usually do not show until they start going to school.
“If the same situation had occurred with their biological child, would they have done the same?” she asked.
Twitter Outraged by the Concept of 'Returning' a Child
The Quint also reached out to the Twitter user who shared the screenshot to get more clarity on the story, however, she preferred not to divulge any information about the original post to avoid compromising identity.
However, as the post gained traction on Twitter, many users expressed anger and shock and called the decision “shameful.”
(The conversation with Dr Geet Oberoi has been edited for clarity)