My journey to promote legal adoptions started more than four decades ago in the early 60's. I successfully persuaded a very close friend of ours to adopt from an institution and not take a child from within their family.. That was in 1963.
Adoption was never a familiar subject for me. I only came to know about adoptions some time before I got married. My husband told me about his adoption; the fact that he had been adopted by his paternal uncle. I learnt that in India family adoptions was indeed a very common affair.
The next was an Inter Country placement. I met a friend who wanted to adopt a child from Delhi when her daughter was one year old. It seems just the other day when I carried a little baby in my lap to a family in Sweden who was waiting to welcome their little bundle of joy, the year was 1967, the day 7th June, that was my second inter country adoption.
And there has been no looking back since then because by this time I had chosen my path to help unwanted, uncared children in every possible way I can.
I was married and with my husband we arrived in Calcutta. I met a renowed social Worker of Calcutta, late Smt. Ashoka Gupta, who has been working tirelessly for deprived women. She adviced me that I should involve others in my work for adoption. So, at her behest, I worked out the details of starting a society with the prime objective to help needy children. We not only considered doing adoptions but wanted to extend our hands to underpriviledged children, to give them an education. So our organisation came into existence on 16th December 1975 as THE INDIAN SOCIETY FOR SPONSORSHIP AND ADOPTION registered under the Society's Registration Act 1961 under the able guidance of our Late President Smt. Ashoka Gupta. It's been 35 years since and ISSA's flag is still flying high to spread happiness and hope in the lives of hundreds of destitute children and smiles on the faces of couples.
As I look back to review these 35 years, I feel very happy and satisfied that we have succesfully placed hundreds of children with families in India and abroad. We are happy to say that every child adopted through this society is protected with full legal rights as that of a biological child and not just placed with family. I am happy to provide a family and a home to more than 1500 children both in India and abroad. Many of these children have grown up and visit us now as young ladies and gentlemen. Some have come back to find out their "roots" others have come back to adopt themselves. Occasionally some parents come back to us to help them deal with their adolescent adopted children. Adopted children are no different from biological children. They have the same hopes, aspirations and the same problems.
In recent times, a certain different problem has started arising , the problem of illegal PLACEMENT where children are being placed privately through doctors, middlemen, nurses, ayah's, etc. No legal paper work is done and all the family is provided is with is a birth certificate.
ISSA has taken it upon itself to raise a voice against illegal placements that are being carried out in the name of adoptions and fight for the rights of destitute children.
Over all these years ISSA has reached out to thousands of children in economically challenged families. These children have families but not the means to have two square meals a day or the ability to pay for medical expenses or proper education. ISSA has stepped in with 7 creches, computer training and vocational training to make a difference to these children under our sponsorship programme.
We have covered some distance in our long journey to reach out to the needychildren...........but the journey is far from over..............every day brings a new challenge and along with my office staff, the staff of the two homes, friends and well wishers we strive to bring a smile to the faces of these children.