I saw the legendary ‘Kannathil Mutthamittal’ a couple of days ago, and was absolutely floored. I loved it totally. A beautiful theme, handled in a sensitive way. The movie left me feeling a lot sad, and with a lot of questions. And that is what this post is for. I wanted your views on one of the subjects handled in this movie, one that is very close to my heart – adoption. There were other things in the movie I would love to discuss about, but not now. Maybe later. As of now, I would like to have a healthy discussion, some sort of answer to the questions milling about in my head. Even if our views clash, you are welcome to let me know. I would welcome some new insights on the subject.
Coming to adoption, I have always thought of it as a very beautiful thing. There can be nothing more beautiful than giving a life, a smile, to a kid who has lost everything. I think that ranks above all other forms of worship – giving hope to someone who has lost it.
Whenever adoption is discussed, the first question that usually comes up – how can we be sure what blood runs in the baby’s veins? Yes, I do believe there is something called genes. There are a few things I do because my grandfather and dad do them, because it is in my blood. The baby could have anyone’s blood in its veins, but there is also something called upbringing. Upbringing, in my humble opinion, plays a more significant role in shaping a child’s future than the genes. The effect of the genes, if there are any wrong ones, can be mitigated by the upbringing. The case of genes vs. upbringing. What do you believe about this?
The movie brought me face to face with the several problems that adoption could lead to at a later stage. Can these problems be resolved amicably? With the least of pain and tears? I hope so.
The first issue is – is it right to let an adopted child know that he/she has been adopted? I believe yes, the child has every right to know the truth. But what is the right age to let the kid know? Early enough so that the child comes to know the truth from his/her own parents, or later, after he/she has attained the necessary maturity? When it does come to know, won’t its very existence, its base, all that it believed so far, be shattered? In the movie, Amudha was a rather well-adjusted kid, with the right kind of upbringing by two sensible parents. She was able to deal with it. but what about those kids who are not as well-adjusted as Amudha? What about the psychological problems that would arise in the child on coming to know that he/she has not been born biologically to the parents he/she has been living with for years? I am sure it would be a shocker. What if the child is not able to accept it? What if the child develops complexes and problems? Wouldn’t there then be a lot of guilt at having spoilt a life instead of giving a life?
Not letting the child know would also not be a solution. The child has the right to know and it would be unfair to withhold such information. Then how does one deal with it?
The second issue – let me explain it with Amudha’s example. Suppose the couple adopted Amudha because they were not able to have children of their own. Then, due to some quirk of fate, they did have kids of their own. They never thought Amudha was not their own kid and gave her the same love and care they gave to their two own sons. Amudha loves both her little brothers. But once the kids come to know that Amudha has been adopted, won’t their relationship change? Won’t even a little bit of jealousy creep into Amudha’s heart on seeing her brothers? Will her brothers feel the same towards her later? If problems are indeed created between the kids, does any kid deserve to go through that?
The third issue – suppose the adopted kid wants to meet his/her biological parents (assuming that they are alive). How much pain would that involve? Revisiting the past like that, finding out why one had been abandoned and all that? Would it be wise to rake up the skeletons of the past? How does one deal with all that new information that suddenly comes in?
I could literally feel Amudha’s pain in the movie, as I watched it. Having to deal with adoption is difficult enough for a kid, and on top of that, she has to see all that destruction and hatred. For those who have not seen the movie, here’s a clip:
If any adopted child, any parent who has adopted a child, or anyone who knows someone who is adopted or has adopted is reading this, do share your views. I might be looking at the subject with a myopic vision. I would really appreciate it if you could help me in getting the bigger picture.