'Adopted' Steve Jobs to inspire Indian adoption agency campaigns

City adoption agencies hope to leverage the outpouring of admiration in the wake of the death of Apple CEO and adopted child, Steve Jobs, to encourage childless couples to adopt

Adoption centres in Mumbai are hoping to leverage the huge publicity surrounding Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' death to encourage more people to adopt. This, since the American tech genius was himself an adopted child, a fact that lent the inspirational story of Jobs even more weight and intrigue.

Steve Jobs (1955 to 2011) was the co-founder of Apple, makers of the

City adoption centres are going to peg their campaigns on the premise -- 'your adopted child could turn out to be a Steve Jobs too'. With awareness about his accomplishments and interest at an all-time high following his death, adoption centres believe it is the right time to design an apt Steve Jobs-centric campaign to target couples that want to adopt.  
State Minister for Women and Child Development Varsha Gaikwad is keen to introduce the success story of Steve Jobs in their future promotional adoption campaigns. "Such successful case-studies or faces will be used for the promotional campaign to encourage adoption. We also want to make a case for the adoption of kids in the age group of two to six years, apart from infants."

Dr Vinita Bhargav, professor of sociology Delhi University, admits that case studies of people like Jobs will be useful in spreading the right message. "The need of the hour is not to promote adoption but to encourage childless couples to adopt children in the age group of 2 years and above, who are mostly neglected," she said.
She added, "Of course, in most cases of adoption, the probable parents want to know as much as they can about the child's background, which can empower them to make a decision. But adoptive parents must realise that it is the child, after all, who decides his/her destiny. They can only provide a better environment for the child."

Harsha Sheth, a social worker at the Chembur centre of the Bal Anand World Children Welfare Trust, shared similar views. "The success stories of adopted children like Jobs and others will surely encourage more childless couples to give adoption a second thought."

At present, the centre has 10 to 11 children available for adoption, while 20 couples are on the waitlist. She shares that most couples want to adopt infants aged between two months to a year, as it is believed that a child that young can adjust easily to its new parents. The waiting period post the date of registration usually lasts up to a year, so that all legal formalities and verifications can be completed before the child is officially handed over to the parents.

According to adoption statistics available with Central Adoption Resource Authority (see box), in 2010, a total of 6,286 children were adopted, as against 2,518 adopted in 2009, across India.  

Social workers at the Indian Council of Social Welfare (ICSW), Fort, explained to Sunday MiD DAY that there are two kinds of legal adoption options: in-country (within India) and inter-country adoption (outside India).

According to their statistics, in the past five years, 6,771 children were adopted, of which 2,301 male and 2,692 female children were adopted within India while NRI/foreigners adopted 647 male and 1,131 female children.

The official at ICSW added, "The number of female children adopted is usually higher than males, which confirms the fact that a higher percentage of female children are being abandoned in the state as compared to boys. Apart from the stigma of being an unwed mother, poverty and the inability to feed more than two children have also become reasons for disowning a child."

The maximum number of adoptive parents who come to India looking for a child are from Italy, Denmark, USA, UK and Norway, while a slow growth is being witnessed in the number of prospective parents coming from Switzerland, Belgium and Sweden.

Who can Adopt?
According to the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act 2000 as amended from time to time, the court may allow a child to be given in adoption:
to a person irrespective of marital status; or
to parents to adopt a child of the same sex irrespective of the number of living biological sons or daughters, or
to a childless couple

Additional Eligibility Criteria:
>Two years of stable relationship in case Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAP) are married.

>To adopt children in the age group of 0-3 years, the maximum composite age of the PAPs should be 90 years wherein the individual age of the PAPs should not be less than 25 years and more than 50 years.

>To adopt children above three years of age, the maximum composite age of the PAPs should be 105 years wherein the individual age of the PAPs should not be less than 25 years and more than 55 years.

>A single PAP desiring to adopt should not be less than 30 and more than 50. The maximum age shall be 40 years to adopt children in the age group of 0-3 years and 50 years for adopting children above 3 years.

>PAPs should have adequate financial resources to provide a good upbringing to the child.

>PAPs should have good health and should not suffer from any contagious or terminal disease or any such mental or physical condition, which may prevent them from taking care of the child.

>A second adoption is permissible only when the legal adoption of the first child has been finalised.

>Single male is not permitted to adopt a girl child.

To keep in mind if you plan to adopt an older kid
Do not overwhelm the child.

Have patience, do not expect your new child to adjust to your family instantly.

Be aware of food issues.  

Night fears are common.

Expect that simple things may be new to them, and confusing.

Don't try and force affection. 

Keep to a routine.

Do not expect or demand gratitude.

Talking to other adoptive parents can be of assitance. 

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