Monday, January 5, 2015

Adoption in my society

Dear loyal blog readers,

Adoption in Kurdistan, socially and legally unacceptable
Before I continue let me tell you something, even before my marriage, I have always wanted to adopt children. Yes, not one child, but children. I knew it had to happen in my life. Maybe because of my experience with orphans, maybe I saw too many children in pain without a mother or a father, maybe the incidents in our families where some of my own cousins unfortunately lost their parents in tragedies and I saw them grow without a parent... maybe it was the occasional visit to the orphanage.

The reason, I don't know, but I knew I have enough love to give to any child I adopt. I would raise it as if it was a fetus in my own womb and would love the child as much I would if I went through labor and  gave birth myself (without an epidural).

When you are 26 and 27 in a Kurdish society, once you are settled with a partner, the expectations for a little baby keep rising. First, time was ticking to get married now time is ticking to have a baby. Let me take a momentary pause here; I am honestly not sure what the next ticking is, but for some reason for a woman a clock is always ticking and a train is always ready to pass.

I won't make this too personal about myself, but for anyone to have an idea to adopt a child or to even mention it is almost like admitting you're about to commit a crime. From those dearest to me I have heard remarks and replies that come across as rude and offensive.

I know religion plays a major role in this issue, as a practicing Muslim I understand some of those view points. However, even those who don't practice the religion remain strictly against adoption. I believe it is one of those things we refuse because socially it's unacceptable... but why don't we give ourselves a chance to have second thoughts about it?

Why should we bring more and more little innocent beings into this world when there are already children who are neglected? Why don't I take an orphan from Sinjar, Kobane or my own Mandali, Khanaqin or even Hawler? How I would love to give such a child endless affection, the best quality education I can afford and my time to raise it in the best possible ways.

Why is it every time I mention the idea of adoption I need to bow my head down in shame as if I have just cursed? Or, even worse, as if you are admitting out loud your infertility. Not sure how people make such a quick linkage. Why must one be infertile to adopt?

The reaction on some people's face when I even mention it, let alone say I would love to do it, immediately makes me feel an outcast. Sometimes you think to yourself even if you adopted a child (that is if the laws and regulations ever allow you...after a good hundred years of paperwork) society will not fairly treat that child. Your own relatives will point at him/her as the 'adopted one' I guess a time will come where you feel sorry for whoever it is you make your child by law.

Fine. Forget adoption. Why not be able to bring a child into foster care? You know, a foster family? Is it not better than living alone, living without a family? Is it not better than not having anyone to help with your homework or guide you to what is good and bad behavior?

Deep down inside me, the idea of adoption will never disappear, but with the years I have realized not everything is as simple as it is in my own mind. After all, there is always something called society.

Until next time I have a complaint, you know, bolla-bol
Lots of love from
My Nest in Kurdistan



Erin Wilson said...

I would really like to understand what Islam says about adoption. Why is it not allowed?

Sazan M. Mandalawi said...

@Erin Wilson,
There are different interpretations and words of mouth going around about this. I am not in a position where I can answer in the best possible way, as my knowledge and background is limited on this matter. However, a lot of research I did indicates it is not refused in Islam but there are different conditions that need to be followed. Here is a link that puts this points in simple form:

Bella said...

My father's kurdish and I come from a fairly religious family, nothing in Islam says adoption is discouraged, all I ever heard growing up was encouragement to adopt orphans and how much blessing there is in that. The more the better. I would love to adopt myself, but I'm very surprised to hear the Kurdish perspective and reaction to this topic!

Erin Wilson said...

Thank you! Look forward to reading more.

Ben SL said...

Thanks for sharing. Do what feels right in your heart and I hope your family and friends will understand.