The article “Bleak future for orphans as adoptions decrease” (The Star, July 10) refers.

My adopted daughter was 11 years old when her mother, my domestic worker, asked me to foster her child so that the child could get a proper education.

Somehow this little girl had slipped through the many holes in the education system and was barely able to read in Grade 4. She had also failed Grade 2.

I fostered Mabel informally for six years (without a foster care grant). We focused on her education and she worked very hard at her extra tuition. We saw her subject percentages climb from a dismal average of 20 percent to the amazing 80s.

In the year Mabel turned 18, her mother begged me to adopt Mabel, so that she could “have a proper life” in the future. I said that since I’d paid for everything up until now, it was no problem to fund her future studies.

The mother was adamant and Mabel was keen.

With the help of a wonderful social worker and the Department of Social Develpment (who really did a sterling rush job), I adopted Mabel just before time ran out. She passed matric with excellent marks and is now studying journalism.

Adoption gives a child the security of a “real” home and family. I have no children of my own and am in the fortunate position of being able to afford to feed, clothe and educate someone else’s child.

I am also able to make sure my daughter has the “proper life” her biological mother wanted for her.

Mabel is a well-adjusted, lovely young woman, full of confidence and charm. She sees her biological family regularly and, like many young people, has adapted to the unusual situation of having a real mom, as well as a “paper mom” (me). I appeal to families – adopt if you can. It makes an enormous difference to a child’s sense of security and confidence.

Fiona Ingram