She Was A Conscious Decision I Had Made
Her World Singapore|May 2021
When Andrea* and her husband were unable to conceive, they decided to adopt a baby girl. She recounts her experience, and how she has navigated parenthood as an adoptive mother for almost two decades.
Sandhya Mahadevan
I am a Singaporean living in New Zealand. We have a daughter Rachel*, whom we adopted 17 years ago. The move here was a much-needed break for me from my professional career, which took my family and I to China (where we made the decision to adopt) and the US as well.

Rachel was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as a child, although she is high functioning. That was one of the reasons why we decided to move to the US and then New Zealand. It was from a long-term perspective for Rachel, so she could have access to options and opportunities that were accommodating of her differences and learning challenges – which can be difficult in a large school, large classroom and exam-based system such as the one in Singapore.

I've always had a desire to have a large family since young – I had imagined that by 25, I would have four children. My husband and I had been married for a while, but were unable to conceive. When we were in China, I learnt about other families who had adopted, and it made me consider the option, so we decided to get into the process for ourselves.

The research and intensive reading we did prior to putting in our application really helped, and I highly recommend that others who are considering adoption do the same. As we are Singaporeans living abroad, we needed to make sure that our adoption was supported by Singapore laws. Touch Community Services (TCS) guided us through the process.

At that time, there were only two approved orphanages in China that we could adopt from. We registered our interest to adopt through TCS along with some basic preferences: We wanted a female child and an infant, as we felt that it would help us with the bonding.

It was a very thorough process, involving an investigation to ensure that we had the psychological and mental preparedness to take on the responsibility of a child. In the process, we were able to look inwards and think about what we were committing to, which was helpful.

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