Stories about adoption

Procreation as a form of oppression: Why I don’t want to have any children

I have always been repelled by the idea of having kids of my own. It has always felt like too much responsibility for a non-committal person like myself. However, many of my friends seem puzzled by this decision of mine. “But you treat children as a therapist, and you’re quite good with them! What’s the problem then?” they ask. But does someone have to hate children in order to not want to give birth to them? You can be exceptionally good with kids and still not want any of your own. However, it’s always hard not to notice the look ...

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I learned true parenting from a foster mother

I first saw her at my kid’s school; she stood out in the crowd, a beautiful brunette with hazel eyes, radiant smile and … a stroller full of babies. There were three kids; a boy and two girls. I asked her if the girls were twins. She said no; they were 11 months apart. She wasn’t their birth mum – she was fostering-to-adopt them. Being from a country where foster parenting is not a widely acclaimed subject, fostering-to-adopt piqued my interest. I wanted to get acquainted with her, and over the following months we did. We often met on school runs, while picking and dropping ...

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Series 2: “Checkmate” Part 8 In trying to forget, we remember instead

How could that possibly be? Why was Usman Khan’s name written in the father’s slot? Shamim Aunty’s husband’s name was Tanveer Ahmed, not Usman Khan. As I read on, the shock turned to nightmare; Abba jee’s name was written in the slot of wali (guardian). Tanveer Ahmed was one of the two required witnesses. Annie’s father, or the father I knew, was not listed as her father or her wali on her nikkahnama (marriage document) but a ‘witness’?? I read the document again, my mind in utter denial. Was Annie Usman Khan’s daughter? There were probably countless Usman Khans in the world, but it had to be ...

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Series 2: “Checkmate” Part 6 Shhh… No one needs to know anything

It wasn’t long before we got serious enough to talk about getting engaged. We planned on going to the same college and then getting married after four years of undergraduate studies. We didn’t tell anyone and continued spending a lot of time together; more than we should have. Then Usman started hearing back from the colleges to which he had applied. As expected, he had been accepted into some of the very good ones like the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and University of Southern California (USC) in California, New York University (NYU) in New York, and Brown University ...

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Series 2: “Checkmate” Part 3 She was a mistake but she was so lovely

The phone call came from New Orleans early in the morning. Right after he hung up, he made a phone call to his friend in Denver, and his friend and him would reach New Orleans International airport early that afternoon. Hopefully, the child would have reached the adoption agency by then. He forgot to ask whether it was a girl or a boy. But then again, it didn’t matter. After having arrived at New Orleans, his friend and him rented a car from the airport and drove the next five miles to the adoption agency affiliated with the hospital. As ...

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Busting the ‘late’ marriage myth: Why I didn’t marry early

We are well into the 21st century, hurtling towards a new era of science and technology, but Indian women still face a basic struggle. As soon as they step into their mid-20s, Indian women have to deal with the pressure of getting married to a ‘suitable’ man. There are many things wrong with that thought. First, it assumes that every woman is sexually interested in men. Second, it assumes that every woman wants to get married. The pressure on men to be ‘suitable’ is another story. Troubles for women don’t end with ‘choosing’ the right sexuality, or the conventional desire to get married and have children, ...

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Would I adopt this baby in five days, knowing the blood results? I’m not sure…

“If you ever had to adopt a baby, then whom would you settle for?” This was the question I posed to myself recently. Not because I had to nor did I want to adopt a child. I have two of my own (biological ones, so my wife tells me), and they are more than a handful. It all happened one fine morning in Karachi while I was working in the ER. A young couple had brought a two-day-old baby girl to me. The ER triages slip stated, ‘baby adopted’ as the reason for coming to the ER. I had never come across ...

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PTI’s fight against dynastic politics: Discredit Maryam Nawaz, appoint Reham Khan

When Maryam Nawaz Sharif was appointed as chairman of the Prime Minister’s Youth Program, the act reeked of nepotism, despotism, cronyism and all other vile ‘isms’. Maryam was appointed, in all probability, because she is the prime minister’s daughter. It was a move typical of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) evil and dynastic ways. They ignored any and all qualified individuals for the position and chose the daughter of the party president for an important post. How dare they! Moving forward, Reham Khan has recently been appointed the ambassador for street children by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government. Behold the nobility that oozes from this profound feat by ...

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Genetically ‘male’ woman gives birth to twins. Great, but did she have to?

A few days back, I read about a medical miracle that occurred in the Indian city of Meerut. I understand that a ‘genetically male’ woman has given birth to twins. A 32-year-old ‘woman’ had a rare hormonal conditional where she looks like a woman but is ‘almost’ a man. She did not attain puberty and has never menstruated. Her uterus was underdeveloped, her ovaries were non-functional and that she had an unpronounceable condition called “XY gonadal dysgenesis “(whew that sure was a mouthful). In short, ‘her’ body was not designed for natural conception or to hold a nine month pregnancy. She ...

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Would surrogacy ever be accepted in Pakistan?

Divorce in Pakistan has become a common occurrence in Pakistan. There are various reasons why couples are inclined to go down that path – sometimes it’s the couple’s inability to understand one another, other times it is because of issues related to dowry; and in some cases, it is because the woman is unable to bear a child, for which the husband divorces his wife and marries someone else, someone more fertile. Personally, I felt that last reason was a completely baseless one to leave someone. If a couple, for some reason, cannot conceive, adoption is always an exceedingly viable ...

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