Forming A Family: Adoption


Adoption means that a child has lost something important. But there is still hope. Adam Navis and Liz Waid talk about raising children who were born to someone else.

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Transcript


Voice 1  

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Adam Navis.

Voice 2  

And I’m Liz Waid. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1  

In 2007, Spotlight writer Rena Dam and her husband travelled from the United States to Ethiopia for work. There, they saw that there were children who did not have parents. They felt that they should become parents to one of these children. They began the legal process of adoption. Later that year they adopted their daughter. Dam explains,

Voice 3  

“My daughter is very different from me. She was born in Ethiopia, but we believe that God wanted her to be our daughter. I do not understand how this works. But I know that it has brought more love into our family. Love is not something that is limited to people who look like you - or even who are related to you. Adoption means that a child has lost something important. They have lost their parents. But it is also a situation of hope.”

Voice 2  

Adopting means legally taking another person’s child and raising that child as your own. Adoption can happen for many reasons. Maybe both parents have died. There may not be other family to care for the child. Maybe the government has decided that the parents are not able to care for their children. Sometimes parents choose to give up their children. The parents may be too young or feel like they will not provide a good life for their child. Whatever the situation, adoption is a part of many people’s lives. Today’s Spotlight in on forming a family through adoption.

Voice 1  

The organization UNICEF estimates that over 15 million children around the world have had both parents die. Most of these children live with a grandparent or another family member. However, many of them do not have a family. Children without a family are at a higher risk for health, emotional, and learning problems. Adoption is a way for these children to have a family again.

Voice 2  

But not all adoption is the same. One kind of adoption is family adoption. For example, a sister can adopt her brother’s children after something happens to the brother. The children already know the new family because they are already part of the larger family.

Voice 1  

A more complex situation happens when a family adopts children from another family in the same city or country. The children will not know the family. The family may have different rules to follow. But many other things will be the same. They may look like their adoptive parents and speak the same language. People who meet them may not even know they are adopted.

Voice 2  

The most complex form of adoption is international adoption. This is when a family from one country adopts a child from another country. If the children are young they will not remember much from their birth country. But if the children are older they may need to learn a new language, eat new foods, and understand a different culture. They may look very different from their adoptive family. People they meet may know immediately that they are adopted. This can be difficult. Rena Dam explains how this affects her family:

Voice 3  

“Sometimes people do not believe that my daughter is my child. She has dark skin and my husband and I have light skin. People look at us like we are strange. I do not care about that. But it is more complex when we talk about our family. We talk about how our son looks like his father. Our adopted daughter can get left out of these talks. It is also difficult living in a country that often treats people differently based on their skin colour. It is difficult for me to teach my daughter some things because I do not experience them in the same way. I have had to ask for a lot of help. I make sure that there are people in our lives who can help me teach and encourage her.”

Voice 1  

Advice for successful international adoptions has changed over time. In the past, experts encouraged families to try and make their adopted children as much a part of their new culture as possible. But today, experts tell parents to talk to their children about their adoption. They say it is good to recognize the differences between the culture they live in and the culture they came from.

Voice 2  

And adoption is not always perfect. Goorish Wibneh is from Ethiopia. He wrote for the Seattle Globalist about how wonderful international adoption can be - except when it is not. He writes:

Voice 4  

“The real picture is not always so nice. People steal money meant for children. And that means children may never get the chance to have a second family. At the same time, other children whose parents are still alive, but too poor to care for them, are given up for adoption. And the families chosen here in the United States are not always the dream parents we like to imagine.”

Voice 1  

Adoption can be difficult for children. Many children wonder about their birth parents. The children may have bad feelings about their birth parents or their adoptive parents. And in some rare cases, adoptive parents do not treat their children very well.

Voice 2  

Adoption can also be difficult for people who want to adopt. There are many rules that govern the process of adoption. It takes a lot of time and money. And helping the child to become comfortable in a difficult situation takes effort.

Voice 1  

There are also many questions that surround adoption. Countries may ask if taking children out of their birth country is a fair choice. But many adoption supporters say that the child’s safety and a loving home are the most important things. They say adoption can provide a family for a child who needs one. Spotlight asked Rena Dam if she would suggest that other people adopt. She said,

Voice 3  

“I would. You may have to become uncomfortable in order to make life as good for your child. Adopted children need a lot of love. They sometimes have special needs or need different things than the rest of the family. But adoption has brought more love into our family.”

Voice 2  

What about you? Do you know anyone who was adopted? What do you think about adoption? Tell us what you think. You can leave a comment on our website. Or email us at radio@radioenglish.net. You can also comment on Facebook at Facebook.com/spotlightradio.

Voice 1  

The writer of this program was Adam Navis. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United States and the United Kingdom. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. This program is called, “Forming A Family: Adoption”.

Voice 2  

Look for our listening app in the Google Play Store and in iTunes. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.

Question:

Do you know anyone who was adopted? Would you want to adopt a child?

Comments


Avatar Spotlight
Dela
said on October 23, 2017

In my opinion, adoption of a child who was born to someone else means undertaking the considerable responsibility at the same time. I suppose adoptive parents should be chosen carefully so that adopted children were provided with all they need necessarily, in particular a lot of love, kindly understanding and safety as well naturally. Otherwise, adoption may be the only excellent solution in case of persons they can not become parents because that will help them form a new complete family!

Kaleb Kolaibi's avatar
Kaleb Kolaibi
said on October 28, 2017

Yes. I want to adopt a child. Accully, I wish that from long time but I’m not estabelete yet.
NOTE: The Islam prevented of the adoption because Islamic prophet LOVED of wife his son by adoption!
GOD bless you

Avatar Spotlight
Honneur
said on January 12, 2019

I respect whatever choice someone has made in life. With regard to adoption, I have seen many, many cases where things have not gone so well, especially after the adoptee becomes an adult. I had three daughters and I created them with much affection, love and sacrifice. I’ve never had an emotional need to adopt someone, so it’s best to be quiet ...

Severino Ramos da Silva's avatar
Severino Ramos da Silva
said on January 13, 2019

From: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
To: spotlight programme
Subject: to answer the questions below
Date: Sunday 13, January 2019
Local: São Paulo city, São paulo Brazil.

Dear Liz Waid, Adam Navis, and michio Ozaki:

Firstly, I want to thank you for bringing us more one great article, thank you.
Questions:
Question 1 - Do know know anyone who was adopted? Yes, I know many children and adults who were adopted by their parents here in my country Brazil; and many of them know the truth.
Quetion 2 - Would you want to adopt a child? Yes, I would.
Thank you very much.
Your regards,
Severino Ramos