Optimism has corroded for a queer couple after a two-year struggle to adopt a child. Between 2015 and 2017, Shobhna S. Kumar and her partner met multiple officials of the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), spoke to several adoption agencies, visited orphanages, and sought help from advocates. The couple first began their search online after they developed a desire to bring up a child through adoption. Today, they have all but given up.
“We were denied adoption because we are different. It is immoral to deny the right to any human being and it is inhumane to deny orphan children the care and love of the family. We ran from pillar to post each day hoping that we could succeed in our efforts, but reality had a different tale to offer. Now we have aged a little and have to give up,” said Ms. Kumar.
She said there are many same-sex couples living together wanting to adopt children. If the Union government amends the Special Marriage Act of 1954 to recognise marriage and allow adoption, both couples and children will have an opportunity to live a happy life.
Yogi and Kabeer, a gay couple, have a different story to tell. Although the idea of adoption has crossed their minds, they have not made any attempts. Kabeer thinks in the present climate, where the majority voice is valued, bringing up a child may be traumatic. “The law not allowing the practice is one thing and societal acceptance is another. The society does not accept the child as one of its own and children will be isolated,” said Mr. Kabeer.
Mr. Kabeer, however, feels that if the laws are changed to facilitate the needs of queer couples, society will also evolve and he would be readily adopting children.
“There are children who are outcast from their family for being gay or falling in with the LGBTQ+ community. We wish to provide love and care to them.”
In 2022, a petition was raised on Change.org demanding the allowing of adoption for a couple – Anushka and Kaveri (names changed). The petition said, “Like many women, Anushka and Kaveri have always had one dream – to have a child of their own.” The petition for them was raised by Sandhya Honawar of Nguvu collective.
Ms. Honawar said thousands of children have been orphaned after the pandemic. “The very notion of immorality that the policy makers have towards same-sex partnership is a British import. India from time immemorial was inclusive about sex. There are carvings in India about same sex and the present BJP government should view these. The idea that only heterosexual couples can nurture children and the child needs both man and woman is patriarchal. On the other hand, the population of same-sex couples is miniscule and does not make up for vote banks. Many women were hoping that the SC may allow adoption, and now, they hope the government can do something about it,” said Ms. Honawar.
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