Adoption article Mumbai India ... ART4232006
Kamiya Mohan Jani, Ghatla Village

An adopted on adoption

With a mission to create streamlined interventions for parents who are in the process of adoption, Sarah who was adopted 28 years ago is making a documentary on adoption. CG Plus traced her visit at Bal Anand Orphanage at Chembur.

A month-old baby was found at Dadar station and was taken to Manav Seva Sangh, an Orphanage at Sion in Mach 1978... Six months later she was adopted by a wonderful family who took her to Denmark. With a Danish mother and an Indian father, Sarah Talreja has known since childhood that she has been adopted. Her curiosity to know her birth place and her biological mother brings her back to India after 28 years… to make a documentary on adoption.

A student of Media Design at the Arts Centre College Of Design, California, Sarah has come to India with her crew, to do her thesis on adoption. “Since I am adopted, I feel very strongly about adoption. I always wanted to know about my birth-country, its people, its heritage and the process of adoption over here. My family has been very supportive,” says Sarah.

She has taken the viewpoints of high court judges in India, some of whom are against, while others, for adoption. Sarah has been visiting Orphanages in Mumbai like Bal Vikas at Malad, Shraddhanand and Manav Seva Sangh at Sion and recently she visited Bal Anand at Chembur. “It feels very nice to talk to the social workers and know about their perspective towards adoption. Even the kids are very nice to talk to. Their drawings will feature in my process-book.”

Inspite of having an Indian father, she knew very little about her birthplace, until she came here. Her mother always wanted her to be in touch with Jaisita Panigrahi, head of Bal Vikas Orphanage, who escorted her to Denmark when she was six months old. “She is like an Indian mother to me. I have grown up talking to her on the phone and she had also visited me in Denmark. She has been a big support in this entire project.”

Initially, her family was a little apprehensive about her project, given that she is adopted and might get emotionally involved, however she has been very professional about it.

Her main mission is to create streamlined interventions for parents who are in the process of adoption. “AdOpt” is an ad campaign which she would use to bring awareness to local and international adoption in India, Denmark and the US (AdOpt = ADOPT as an OPTion). “I also plan to write a book on this and then come up with a trans-media system, if things work out.”

Ever since Sarah’s childhood, she has been quite inquisitive about her birthplace and her biological mother. “I know it is in no way possible to meet her. When I was about 13, I desperately wanted to know about her.

As I grew older, I used to get angry thinking about why she left me, but now I think she might have had her own reasons. However, I must say I am very lucky to have been adopted by a family like mine. I love them very much and they have stood by me in all my decisions,” cheers Sarah.

On being asked about how she feels about adoption, she enthusiastically says, “Adoption is a beautiful gift, even considering that there have been bad cases, I believe that each case has to be looked at individually. But I am all for adoption.” She further says that she too would like to adopt. She is quite upset with the local families who reject children based on their colour or looks. She brings to notice that internationally you need a more valid reason to reject a child, otherwise the agency might not let you adopt.

Having spent three months in India, talking about her experiences, she avers, “I love India and Indian people. I also love pani-puri. I don’t want this trip to get over.”

After returning home, Sarah will be involved with the post-production of the film. “Once I am done with all that, I plan to enter the documentary into all possible film festivals around the world. It is going to be very informative.”

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