By:Mpho Shelile

We live in a world where there are various international observance days. One of them which tugs at the heart and spirit of our existence is World Adoption Day for its unique and heartfelt cause. We live in a world where familial love is very important and significant. There are many lovely children out there who, for various reasons, do not have the luxury and affection of a familial bond because they are orphans.

Since its inception on the 9th of November, 2014. Launched by Hank Fortener, this very special day gained traction across the globe. Ever since, World Adoption Day has gained significance and momentum in its simple mission, which is: “A world with no more orphans, a family for every child.” The organization he founded for this beautiful cause is called Adopt Together. It is an adoption crowdfunding platform. In commemoration of adoption day, Beautiful Gate, an orphanage home at Lesia Thetsane held an event to celebrate this day by briefing the media about the importance of adoption and procedures followed when adopting.

In her remarks, the manager of the institute, Ms. Lindiwe Kirstein stated that adoption is a beautiful process of welcoming a new member of the family with lots of love, along with an open heart and open arms. World Adoption Day has led to the advocacy of the rights of children who need a home and a loving family. Through this observance, the world has come together to celebrate adoption, families, and crushed stigmas attached to adoption. “As we celebrate World Adoption Day, we honor the adopting families as well as create a beacon of hope for the many children who need a home. This beautiful celebration emphasizes the message that love transcends all boundaries”

She further stated why Adoption Month is important. “We are recognizing what is being done. We are acknowledging the work done by numerous individuals in our country who day in and out are working for foster children, birth parents, and parents seeking to adopt. Whether they be social workers, not-for-profit employees, government employees, caseworkers, counselors, and educators, they are all working to improve adoption in our country, help people offset the costs of adoption, support birth families, and ensure that all children have safe and loving homes.”

She concluded by stating that Beautiful Gate has about 67 children currently and that over the years the institute has had 640 over 22 years and 186 of her children were taken in by family members while 293 children were adopted, within the country and internationally, “one thing I am proud of is the compliments I am getting from overseas on how well behaved our children are”, she shared her favorite quote, which stated that “adoption is where families are united by God and  chosen by unconditional love for each other sealed with a pledge of love no matter the storm they face”.

People celebrate Adoption Day as a way to recognize and celebrate the legal, emotional, and familial aspects of the adoption process. It’s a meaningful occasion that allows families to come together, reflect on their unique journeys, and create positive memories. We celebrate families who have been brought together through the adoption of a child, we support families who are in the process of adoption, and we raise awareness of adoption as a family option. Whether abandoned, orphaned, or willingly chosen to have a child adopted, adoption gives a child a chance to grow up in another family environment filled with happiness, caring, and love.

On behalf of Social Development, Miss Mamohlabi Phororo indicated that for adopted children, celebrating Adoption Day can contribute to the development of a positive identity and a sense of belonging within their adoptive family. It reinforces the idea that they are valued and loved members of their family. “What we offer the kids as social development alone is not what a family can offer, which is why I would like to tell you about how the whole process goes. “Adoption is a legal process through which a married couple or a single female or male who agrees to raise the child as their own and undertakes all the responsibility attached to that child, is provided with a child. Adoption can also be termed as a permanent legal way of transferring a child from the biological parent to another parent who is ready to accept all the responsibilities of that child. It can be said that through the process of adoption, one can provide a child to the childless and a home to the homeless”.

“However there are legal systems behind adoption which are created to protect the rights of both the parties and to allow smooth transfer of all the legal obligations and rights from the biological parents to the adoptive parents,” she said, adding that adoption of any child is a sensitive matter in the eyes of the Government of Lesotho and they are fully committed to the rights and welfare of children”, she stressed.

Adding that no matter what circumstances a child is born into, whether depriving or thriving – every child deserves to have the best possible start in life. And that World Adoption Day emphasizes a universal agenda that adoption brings opportunities and hope to many children across the globe. The reasons why a specific child is available for adoption are just as diverse as the uniqueness of each child and family.    

“Adopting a child is a complex and life-changing intervention that coincides with a permanent and generally irreversible legal action that affects the child, her or his biological parent, and the adoptive parent. The process has to meet the constitutional right and principle of the best interest of the child. It requires a high level of professional expertise in legal and ethical checks and balances. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child requires that State Parties take responsibility to ensure that the best interests of the child are served by providing adoption services that meet specific laws and legal procedures.”

 She concluded by stating that adoption processes and regulations vary widely from country to country and even within different regions or states. The goal of adoption is to provide stable and loving homes for children who, for various reasons, cannot be raised by their biological parents. “It is important for individuals or couples considering adoption to thoroughly research and understand the legal and emotional aspects of the process and, in many cases, seek the guidance of adoption professionals or agencies.”

In her closing remarks Mrs. Mookho Motheo Lekhanya stated that raising a child is not an easy job, and they are working tirelessly as Social Development to implement policies that cater to the well-being of every child out there regardless of their background. “The government of Lesotho might be contributing but not enough to cover every child’s need, so that means all those taking care of the children are not very passionate because it means they are spending their own money, so for that I commend you.”

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