Adoption

Giving a baby up for adoption is by no means an easy thing to do. Others might tell you otherwise, but remember that you will be the one who will have to carry on with the pregnancy, give birth to the child and then give it away. Can you stand the thought of someone else bringing up your baby or never seeing your child again? These are things that you need to consider.

There are 2 methods for adoptions:

  1. According to the Adoption Act 1952 (ACT 253) (applicable to non-Muslims only):
    The adoptive parents (who are not Muslims) can petition for adoption in the Sessions or High Court after three months of caring for the child. In this case, the birth certificate is altered to include the adoptive parent’s name as the child’s natural parents. The birth mother would then have no rights to the child.
  2. According to the Registration of Adoption Act 1952 (ACT 257 (applicable to both Muslim & Non-Muslim):
    The adoptive parent must have resided with and had continuously cared for the child for a period of not less than two years. There would be evidence of care, maintenance and education of the child during the two years. After two (2) years and the registration has been completed, the adoptive parents may request to the court to instruct the National Registration Dept that the child’s birth certificate is altered to include the adoptive parent’s name as the child’s natural parents. The birth mother would then have no rights to the child

What you need to know if you are giving your child up for adoption:

  • If you the mother would like to take your child back after giving the child up for adoption, after the adoption has been approved, then you know that you CANNOT take the child back until and unless the registered adoption is first cancelled by a court order.
  • Any possibilities of you and your child meeting again in the future would only be possible if you and the adoptive parents had agreed on it prior to the conclusion of the adoption. These is NO law that requires the adoptive parents to give you the permission to see your child.
  • Any application for adoption is to be referred to the Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat, or you may also refer it to the respective hospital Medical Social Worker.
  • Often the Medical Social Worker or the Welfare Officer would interview both the mother of the child and the adopting family.
  • You as the mother may opt to meet the adopting family if you want..

Coping with giving your child up for adoption.

A number of factors might have influenced your decision to place your child for adoption, and as in many circumstances; lack of support, lack of finances and not being able to tell your family regarding the pregnancy might compel you to do so.

Upon placing your child for adoption, you may have many mixed emotions. You might feel sad about not being able to raise or have a relationship with your child, anger and pain as a result of losing your child. Or you might instead feel positive and relieved from the beginning about the adoption decision and accept that the decision brought with it certain consequences. You decided on adoption because you had considered the best interest of the child.

However, just about all mothers would wonder how their son or daughter is doing, especially when the child has reached the age for important events such as starting school, graduating from school, getting married, or becoming a parent.

Birth mothers who get out of this cycle of emotions usually do so by doing one or more of the following things:

  • Going for counselling
  • Talking with supportive family members or friends
  • Writing their feelings down in a story or poem
  • Writing letter, even if they are not sent, to their child

All of these are positive methods for dealing with the separation.

From Women’s Aid Organisation Booklet, “Single and Pregnant: What Are My Choices?”