Forum: Adoption not something negative or shameful to hide from kids

As an adopted child, I fully support the measures on new laws governing child adoption passed on May 9 (Adoption register to facilitate contact with birth parents eyed, May 29).

Since I was of primary school age, I had wondered whether I was adopted, as I realised the details and address on my birth certificate did not match the details of my adoptive parents or any of our close relatives.

When I asked my late mother about it, she dismissed my claims, and I did not ask her again.

I came to know of my adoption only when I was in my early 20s. It was my elder biological sister, who was also adopted by another family, who contacted me. She was getting married at that time, and wanted to seek my help in obtaining our biological father's whereabouts and consent.

I found out that several of my biological siblings and I were given away for adoption because my birth parents had many children and they had financial difficulties. I was given to my adoptive parents who had no biological child, and they treated me as their own son, raising me lovingly.

I have since told my wife and nine-year-old son that I was adopted, and introduced them to my biological parents and siblings. We had the opportunity to visit one another during the recent Hari Raya Aidilfitri period.

As a Muslim, it is important for me to know my birth parents' identity, medical history and other important information, as I need to be aware of my lineage to avoid problems such as marriage between biological siblings and issues regarding the modesty of those who have reached puberty.

It is crucial and beneficial for adoptive parents to tell their adopted children the truth at an earlier stage, before someone else informs them in a negative manner.

Adoption is not shameful or degrading, and there should not be any negativity surrounding adoption, whether for the children, adoptive parents or birth parents.

Muhammad Dzul Azhan Sahban

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