Certain countries have closed off adoption channels with Malta, making it even more difficult for Maltese couples to adopt. Despite all this, one Maltese couple took the step of going through this tiring process in order to adopt a baby from India.
Last Sunday, Fiona and Dave Anastasi uploaded a Facebook video of their journey of adopting baby Nina. Within a couple of days, the video managed to amass nearly a thousand reactions and was viewed more than 20,000 times. Lovin Malta got in touch with Fiona and Dave to learn more about this heartwarming adventure.
“Every child deserves to have a happy life and a secure home,” Fiona told Lovin Malta. “We’d always entertained the idea of adopting children and giving them the nurturing, loving tenderness children need to grow. We talked about it often, and really liked the idea of having a multi-cultural family.”
Their initial plan was to have children of their own, and after that they would move on to adopting at a later stage in life. However, life had other plans in store for them, and so they decided that adoption was the way to go.
The adoption procedure was handled by Aġenzija Tama, a nonprofit Maltese adoption service aiming to find loving homes for children who for some reason or other are unable to remain with their biological families. “They kept in constant contact with the Indian authorities to overlook everything,” Fiona said.
Aġenzija Tama guided them through the entire process from start to finish in a supportive and professional manner. The agency also provides a support system for both parents and children by organising meet-ups for them and the children. Shared experiences most often create a safe space for the children to feel better supported and understood.
“We had first started the process of adopting a child from Cambodia back in 2013,” Fiona told Lovin Malta. “Unfortunately, the Cambodian government closed their doors for prospective adoptive parents from Malta just as we were about to apply.”
The Anastasis decided to wait for the right country for them to open its adoption channels with Malta. Once they found out that India opened the doors to Maltese couples for adoption, they applied immediately and waited to get a multi-cultural family of their own.
It took them a couple of months waiting for their profile to match with that of Nina, and the Anastasis tell us that that they did not face any restrictions or problems with the adoption process.
Although for some people the process might seem long and draining, they said they don’t think it was difficult. “It might seem so due to all the documents and background checks needed, but those are done for the benefit of the child,” Fiona explained.
When asked about the issues they faced with bringing Nina home, they told us that the three flights they had to catch proved to be the most difficult part for them.
They had only known Nina for two weeks and she had developed a cough and bit of a fever back in India. Before leaving, they needed to make sure it was alright for her to travel, so they had to take her to hospital to get her checked and provide her with the medication she needed. “Due to this, we had a long journey back home with Nina and mummy being tired and cranky.”
Would they adopt again? “Yes, definitely, but not for now.”
They would love for Nina to have brothers and sisters to play with once she is a bit older. “We would like Nina to be a bit older, so that she can experience and understand what we went through to pick her up,” said Fiona.
Of course, after such a long and rewarding experience, the Anastasis have some words of advice to couples who would like to adopt “Go for it,” they said. “Just know that it’s definitely an emotional rollercoaster, and you need to be there for each other.”
Considering the fact that Nina has only been with them for a bit under a month, they say that the change they have seen in her is incredible. Nina is a happy child, still exploring and discovering the world around her. She’s already showing her rhythmic talents by rocking around and doing the occasional head bang when music comes on.