You can be a family in more ways than one

2016-12-14 06:02
Adv. Kuni Ditira – Social Observer

Adv. Kuni Ditira – Social Observer

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Many couples struggle to conceive and have a child of their own.

Sometimes fertility treatment can be given, which may include in vitro fertilisation. This is a process through which fertilisation takes place in a test tube and the fertilised egg is implanted into the woman.

There is also surrogacy, when a woman carries the fertilised egg of another woman.

Other people opt for adoption.

In our black society, we do not understand these developments. There are divorces because a spouse may feel that he or she wants their own children. In other cultures people adopt. We would rather take a relative’s child and raise the child as our own.

Someone who is said to have adopted, told me how she had been drinking medication which had helped her to conceive. I am not sure whether she told this story to protect the child or to protect herself.

People are sometimes loath to adopt, because they do not know who the parents are and what genetics or characteristics the child may inherit.

However, these factors can also be a concern with your own children. Speaking to a friend about the issue, she said sometimes our parents would discourage us to marry someone, but fail to give reasons. Later on our children end up in prison, because they “inherited” that from the spouse’s family.

I believe that you can teach a child good moral values.

There are characteristics that they may inherit from their parents. However, a child’s integrity, values and ability to discern what is right and wrong is taught.

I have stayed with other people’s children for as long as I can remember. During my days as a student, I stayed in a university room, sleeping on a single bed with my niece.

When I stayed in a bachelor’s flat, I stayed with different children of different ages – from a primary school child to a university student.

After I got a house, one or more children have been staying with me each year.

I have learnt that a child will listen to you and respect you even if you are strict. However, there are those who have their own minds and are stubborn. These will undermine your rules. It does not matter what their parents’ values are or what they were taught at home.

Sometimes, when a child is older, they want to know their roots and why they were adopted. Did their parents not love them?

I think it boils down to an identity journey which each teenager undertakes. You may still love your adoptive parents, but you want to know your real parents.

Having been in loco parentis for more than 30 years, I know that you can adopt and have the joys of ­parenting. You can instil your good values in the child, especially from an early age.

) Express welcomes anyone interested in contributing to the weekly column. There is no payment for writers. Send your opinion piece (not exceeding 500 words in Sotho or English) via email to boipelo.mere@­volksblad.com. Writers are welcome to send spiritual articles.

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