Thursday, June 30, 2011


I have always strongly believe that, in this day of overpopulation and scarcity in India, there's no reason to have children. There really is no need to bring a new child into the world. Add to this the pain and trauma of pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding, the fact that there's enough crazy shit in my family to compete with most children put up for adoption, and the fact that I want five kids, and I simply don't see myself ever, you know, getting pregnant and giving birth.

This was a huge bone of contention with BBot. It seems to be a hue deal for most guys that I've met. Granted, women also say things like ohhh but don't you want to have your OWN baby, and be pregnant and feel that BOND, or, when you meet the *right* guy you'll want to have his babies, but men respond on this visceral level that seems immune to logic.

For example, there are women who are infertile, in a way that could possibly be cured with months of hormone treatment, but that treatment is a BITCH. She doesn't want to put herself and her body through that. But guys expect that she should. That's the amazing thing. There is a sense of entitlement to your partner incubating, birthing and feeding your baby,. whether she wants to or not. It's true that most women want to, which is fine, but some, like me, don't. Then what? A man can share all the caring for a baby (cept the breastfeeding, quite is quite traumatic), but he can't share the needing to throw up every second for months, or the peeing, and all the things that can go wrong. So where is the justice in demanding this?

Guys are so fixated on having their own genetic child - evolutionary imperative if you will - that once even told me he'd use a surrogate, but that of course violates the pint about not needing to bring more children into the world.

It helps that in my family, I have an adopted niece whose parents managed to have a son after they adopted her. She is the most captivating thing I have ever seen (barring her Ladyship of course), and her captivating. Clearly our genes aren't all that sparkly.

This is how I have felt for at least ten years, and heaven's the arguments I have had about it. People always say, have one adopt the second. It just won't work. One parent will favour one over the other, and while parents always do that, there will be a very real cause of pain here. Then, also, which first? Adopt or birth? Some people say that they can't imagine bonding with a child not their own; some day they can't imagine adopting a child and bonding with it without having gone through the whole pregnancy with it's attached misery - sort of like listen I survived that so I'm bloody well going to get past these first three months of madness!

The weird thing is that, lately, as her Ladyship grows and becomes more and more like me, or so Amma sez, I am seized by the curiosity - will my kid turn out like Scoo? Or will s/he be like her Ladyship? Will s/he be madly scientific like everyone in the family? Will s/he be artistic like Acrosticus and his brother? And so on. For the first time, I might actually be considering having my own child. Spooky.


  1. Interestingly enough, my adoption stream of consciousness seems to have flowed and is flowing rapidly in the same direction. And for those same reasons. I see it in the kuttis when I go to visit; bits and pieces of their grandparents twitches, aunts' quirks.
    I still battle with the idea of having one of your own and adopting the other. I had serious concerns, but I wonder. If it really is more nurture and not nature, then what's to say you can't create that dynamic of seeing both children in the same light in your own household? I'm still tempted to believe it can work. But the issue I think is with that difference in life experience of both, I wonder, can those kind of things ever really be bridged? It's tricky. Very tricky.

  2. the thing about the one and one is not that i dont think its possible, but honestly, i don't trust a guy to treat em the same and them i'll treat em different and then its all in the toilet.

  3. Oh A and I are going through the same motions. He was against adoption initially because he wasn't sure if he'd be able to love another's child. What bullshit. But, I realized I needed to give him time and we've sorta decided now that we will have one and adopt one. I know. Whoever thought I will have a home filled with kids.

    But the thought of having a baby pleases me now. I see my nephew ( when I saw him, I felt so physically maternal, that I thought something was wrong with me) and all my nieces and I want one for myself now. Okay you know what I mean by now. But so that is the decision as of now.

    My uncle's adopted a little firebrand and A loves her to the core. So, I'm guessing he'll be fine after sometime. Either way, time for him to figure it out and adjust. I'm totally for adoption because there's no way I can see little kids being abandoned and no one taking care of them when people like us have the ability to do so - physically, economically and in all other ways.

    We'll see how it goes :)

  4. That's it really. Concieving a child biologically is an act of egoism. At the heart of it is the idea of a minime or minius, a combination of you and spouse and the generations of your family before you. It is also a primal urge, and I realised it is very strong in men. Maybe the maternal instinct makes it easier for women to adopt other children as their own, whether it is an inborn instinct or one nurtured in the way little girls are raised (I think it is inborn... most little boys seem uninterested in caring for dolls as kids; even someone as unmaternal as me was hugely maternal to dolls, puppies and yeah eventually even babies).

    And adoption as some kind of social service, yes for India, not for countries with a low birth rate like Hong Kong. Here it is social service to have a kid, there are so few people doing it.

    PS: I still think it is possible to have one adopt one, in that order. Just don't think it is a given anymore that all people can do it, or that all people have it in them to adopt. I think it takes a certain kind of person.

  5. nandu, good for A. maybe that's how it happens, thy see other kids and come around. hypothetically though, there's a lot of resistance, which is find disturbing.

    bride, indeed extreme egoism, but not necessarily in a bad way. though for the record i don't remember taking care of dolls as a kid, just making them clothes! second, yes i get the point about HK, though it can be countered with, whatever the individual densities there's more than 6 billion people on the planet and it's unsustainable...though for that to come through evolutionarily, i imagine we'd need to reach a stage of social identification that is impossible at this level of sapience... and yeah maybe it depends on the family, what the order should be or whether parents can adapt to adoption, in which case one cant generalise at all!

  6. Interesting comments. My issue is not with the concept of mixing having your own and adopting. I feel so maternal to all sorts of kids. And I know I would see absolutely no difference between the children. And I can now speak for my husband, after having these discussions with him too. Heck, I fall in love with kids I spend more than 10 minutes with. Ok, some :) My worry is how would you put to rest the different questions that arise in the children's minds? Those conversations that surround 'oh you have your mother's eyes, your grandfather's smile'... something the adopted child will always be left out of. And well, there is currently no concept of open adoption in India. Just because there are so many factors that seem out of our control, it worries me ever so much. But I, much like Nandu, as of now am also at the have one, adopt one stage. Two of my favouritest children in the world are adopted; what's not to love?