Waiting for a year: A family’s adoption journey

Published 3:19 pm Thursday, July 27, 2023

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By BARTON PERKINS | Staff Writer

CHELSEA –  Jared and Kandace Cornutt have been waiting a year to bring their son home from India.

“It’s hard to know that you have a child,” said Jared Cornutt. “That is my son, and the desire of my heart as his dad is to bring him home.”

Jared is currently a minister at North Shelby Baptist, and he has felt a calling to adopt ever since a fateful mission trip to Zimbabwe in 2012.

“Just being around so many fatherless and motherless children made me realize that I would love to give a child a home and a family,” Jared said.

Jared met his wife, Kandace, and the two of them quickly realized that they shared the same desire to adopt, even if they could have children naturally. After the two of them married, the Cornutt family decided to adopt their first child from India in 2018.

“We chose India because one in five of all the orphans in the world live in India,” Jared said. And if a child’s not adopted by the age of about five or six, the likelihood of them going into trafficking greatly increases.”

According to data from the National Crime Record Bureau, a child in India disappears every eight minutes. With one of the highest rates of human trafficking in the world, Indian orphans over the age of five are at significant risk of being sold into forced labor, begging and sexual exploitation.

Jared and his wife matched with their eldest son in August of 2017. They traveled to India to bring him home in July 2018. The Cornutt family spent a few weeks in India getting to know their new son and seeing famous sights like the Taj Mahal. When the family returned to the States, they found a surprise waiting for them.

“We got pregnant two weeks after we got home, unintentionally, but we wouldn’t change a thing,” Jared said.

The Cornutt family waited a few years after their second son was born before they decided to try and have a third child. Once again, they decided to adopt from India and were matched with their third son in April of 2022. Then, their troubles started.

In 2021 India passed the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, a change to the country’s adoption policy designed to expedite the process by transferring the authority of who finalized adoptions out of Indian Civil Courts and to the District Magistrate. Unfortunately, this new policy has resulted in wide-scale protests throughout India due to many citizens being concerned about potential civil rights violations this policy may cause. This has also caused hundreds of adoptions in India to stagnate and be delayed.

In the Cornutt family’s case, while they know who their son is, they haven’t been able to bring him home for over a year. During that time, their lives have gone through many changes, including the birth of a daughter and a move back to Alabama for Jared to preach at North Shelby Baptist. Despite the long wait and all these changes, their faith has sustained them.

“We believe that God is never late,” said Jared

Jared noted that with all the changes going on in his family’s lives, the new baby, and the move to Alabama that it would have been difficult for them to give their new son the attention he deserves.

“A child who has been adopted already goes through many traumatic experiences,” Jared said. “The trauma of being abandoned and then going through so many changes all at once. It would have been very hard for us to have brought him home. Then right after that having a new baby, arrived in October, and then moving to Birmingham soon afterward.

“So we see God’s hands on this; this will be an easier transition for him to come straight home to Birmingham and not have all these different transitions come at him one after another. We trust and believe that God knows better than we do. That God knows the best time for him to come home. It’s difficult most days. But part of faith is believing and trusting the things you can’t see.”

The Cornutt family have officially heard that their adoption has reached its final stages, and they are expecting to receive the call to head to India within the next few weeks. While their two older sons will stay with their grandparents, Jared and his wife will bring their nine-month-old daughter to meet her new big brother.

“I’m looking forward to getting my son and finally being with him,” Jared said.

The Cornutt family currently has a fundraiser page online to help raise money for adoption and travel expenses. Those interested in supporting the efforts may visit the website at Adopttogether.org/families/cornutt-family-adoption-2?fbclid=IwAR33AJQKCy42wy2NFQ_oLBh-fI02Ocw8803DL2cCXXzp6igri3nNkXfULxQ.