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The adoption experience

“Adopting a child is an act of Love…I encourage those who cannot have children to expand their marital love to embrace those who lack a proper family situation”.

In this Amoris Laetitia Year of the Family, we are reminded that adoption is a very generous way to become parent (179, Amoris Laetitia).

In the virtual Children Are Gift programme, we have learnt that children are gifts, who teach families to love.

In the first part of segment three, we were introduced to Carl and Sharon Mangroo who have been married for over 47 years. They shared the emotional trauma of having multiple miscarriages and identified what helped them to cope. As we continue our journey with them, we gain insights into their adoption experience.

The Mangroos disclosed that they decided to apply to the Adoption Board when they realised that they were not going to have a child biologically. Carl said that “It took five years of prayer before our first child (Michael) came to us…it was such a joy!”.

They received the call from the Adoption Board and went prepared to get their baby and were informed that it was a “viewing” to see if they wanted him. Carl responded, “We prayed, and God sent this baby for us, so we collected him.” They wanted a large family, so they applied and subsequently adopted their other children, Anna and Raphael. They were advised by the Adoption Board to inform the children that they were adopted from an early age to avoid the possible trauma upon discovery.

In terms of challenges, they disclosed that the adoption process can be lengthy and involves interviews, background checks, references, and home visits. Sharon said that “it took almost a year for us to adopt Michael after he was placed with us”. She described feeling anxious because he was not legally theirs and could have been taken away.

Adoption is an act of love. Sharon said that, “God blessed us so much by allowing us the opportunity to be parents and they brought so much joy to our lives!”

The Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago is the legal body to carry out adoptions. They can be contacted at 627-0748 or ttchildren.org.

Persons are invited to check out the AFLC on Instagram, Facebook and AFLC’s  website, aflcrc.org. Email familylife@catholictt.org or call/WhatsApp 299-1047 to register for the Children Are Gift online programme.

The Mangroos advised persons who are considering adoption to:

  • Go to The Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (https://ttchildren.org/services/adoption) which has the capacity and experience to guide couples through the adoption process. Making your own arrangements for adoption leads to difficulties later in life.
  • Consider the child who will be presented to you as God’s gift to you. Carl said, “It is not a supermarket. Let God decide.”
  • Be patient with the process. There are a lot of children who need care. However, there is hesitation by the biological parents to give up their rights to their children.

While you wait, recognise that God is preparing you for the child. Sharon added that biological mothers need the assurance that their children will be loved and accepted into a family and given opportunities that they would not have had.