“God knew that it doesn’t matter how your children get to your family. It just matters that they got there.” — Kira Mortenson
According to government data, more single women are coming forward to adopt children in India as social mores change. The number of such adoptions are climbing.
Adoption by single women is culturally accepted in India because many women do not marry due to family responsibilities or other reasons (The Rainbow Kids).
Single women over the age of 40 with the financial means to bring up an adopted child got the news that they will be given preference in the adoption process. This decision was made by the Woman and Child Development (WCD) ministry. “The resolution was passed this month by the steering committee of Central Adoption Research Agency (CARA), a statutory body of the WCD ministry, taking into account the rising trend of single women coming forward to adopt and raise a child on their own” (The Indian Express).
This move was a radical shift from the agency’s stance on surrogacy which was not an option open to single men and women. “The move was proposed by WCD Minister Maneka Gandhi after considering the many representations she got from such women. Adoption requests are processed by keeping the child’s best interests in mind and if a financially independent woman, with a stable income, wants to adopt a child, it very well falls within this criteria,” a ministry official said.
This is very good news for women who have always wanted to adopt or are tired of waiting for Mr. Right. And it is no longer a taboo for unmarried women to raise children on their own. Single women often do not the support system that couples have so when they made that commitment to raise a child single-handedly, they need all the encouragement they can get.
Paromita Chatterjee, 44, a resident of Delhi adopted her child in 2014. She felt that she was extremely lucky to have had a supportive environment. She told ThePrint, “I was an outlier in a sense. I had decided back when I was a teenager that I wanted to adopt — regardless of whether I marry. My family was also always very supportive.”
Another woman said that if it weren’t for her parents and their involvement in her life, she might not have been able to adopt. She said that, “at every step, I was asked how I will be able to take care of a child as a single woman. They (social workers) kept asking me if my parents will help me with the parenting, and if I plan on getting married later. They (social workers) didn’t seem to think a single woman alone is enough for a child.”
It may be a challenge for a single parent to raise a child but the important thing is that they have the financial means and the support to take care of the child.
“The world may not change if you adopt a child, but for that child their world will change.” — Unknown