“The consequences of being adopted as a young adult didn't affect me. However, it psychologically impacted my biological parents.
Adoption has been a widespread practice in India. Childless parents adopted a child, usually a boy, from their caste and preferably from their own family (mostly cousins) to continue their family tree.
In my biological family, we are four brothers and one sister, and we belong to the Marwari community from Rajasthan. My elder brother, out of humanitarian consideration was given up for adoption by my biological parents to a childless couple of our caste. My elder brother's adoptive father had a younger brother who also did not have any children. They wanted to adopt me as their son, especially when his wife was very sick. He tried to fulfil his wife's desires to have a child before she passed away and began putting emotional stress on my biological parents to give me up for adoption. In the year 1960, my biological parents agreed. At the time I was nearly 17 years old and pursuing my studies for graduation. By the time I went to live with my adoptive parents, my adoptive mother was on her death bed, and a few days later, she passed away.
I was married and completed my post-graduation in Commerce by the time I was 19 and left my home in Ajmer, Rajasthan for Kolkata to start my career. Four years after I left Ajmer, my adoptive father passed away from paralysis.
Even though I was adopted as a teenager, I kept in touch with my biological family. The adoption therefore in my case was a natural phenomenon. For me, I knew that I was going to help someone in dire need of a child. Of course, it was an emotional difficulty for my biological parents to give up their teenage child for adoption. However, my biological parents had three other children, and my biological mother was mentally strong. As a result, it became easier for them to accept my adoption.
Today, I am enjoying my life. I am 76 years old and still live in Kolkata with my wife. I have three children and six grandchildren, all living in different parts of the world. I am retired, but I love spending my time pursuing my passion for social service for the sake of humankind."
DK is living in Kolkata, India and continuing his lifelong will commitment to Howrah Lions Club, an NGO based in Kolkata. You can connect with him on Facebook @DeoKumarMaheshwari and on Instagram @deokumarmaheshwari