American couple adopts Bihar girl as New Year gift

Su-2010-Feature

Meenakshi was left abandoned by her family members just three days after her birth. Luckily, she survived as the hospital staff found her weeping inside a sack near the hospital gate and informed the child welfare committee. She was brought up at an orphanage in Nalanda.

Now, the two-and-a-half-year old Meenakshi has four family members. On Wednesday, an American couple, Craig Edward Fraiger and Karly Ray Fraiger, adopted her. Though the couple has two biological sons – one six-year-old and the other of three years – they planned to adopt a girl to complete their family.

Craig, who works in a finance company in Florida, said the couple was moved by the documentary, ‘Stuck’. It deals with the difficulties that orphans face and the parents who want to adopt them encounter in the process of doing so.

The couple also said they opted for an Indian girl child because they were touched by the plight of such a girl in India.

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“We have watched many documentary films based on Indian girls and were saddened to see the way some of them are treated. When we watched a documentary on Indian girls named ‘It’s a Girl’, we were really upset. Then we came to know how the practice of female foeticide and abandoning of a girl child is prevalent in the country. We decided to adopt a girl child from India,” Craig said.
Though the process of adoption took them around 14 months to complete, Karly, holding the little Meenakshi, said, “She is our Christmas and New Year gift. Both my sons are waiting eagerly for their sister to reach home.”
The couple said they registered on a central government site, Central Adoption Resource Authority, which provides the name, photograph and medical background of the children. Craig and Karly felt infatuated after seeing Meenakshi. “I loved her beautiful eyes and we decided to adopt her. We did not give even a second thought about her,” said Karly.

The couple also said Meenakshi would be brought up as per Indian culture. “We will track the child for two years. We have partnered with a foreign adoption agency, which, in collaboration with the Indian embassy, will upload her photos to our site,” said Brajesh Kumar, the adoption resources agencies manager.

Social welfare department director Imamuddin Ahmad, who handed over Meenakshi to the American couple, said altogether 97 children have been adopted from Bihar in the last one year. Six of them have been adopted by foreign couples during this period. “Making the process of adoption online has really helped in expediting the process.”
Chirag
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