Adoption by single women on the rise | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Adoption by single women on the rise

Archana Naik (40) recently welcomed a new man into her life. The Wadala resident, who got divorced three years ago, adopted a one-year-old boy from Manav Seva Sangh in Sion on September 19, reports Neha Bhayana.

mumbai Updated: Dec 17, 2009 00:51 IST
Neha Bhayana

Archana Naik (40) recently welcomed a new man into her life. The Wadala resident, who got divorced three years ago, adopted a one-year-old boy from Manav Seva Sangh in Sion on September 19.

A government employee, Naik has taken a sabbatical and now spends her days teaching little Aarav the alphabets and latest dance steps.

“He calls me aaee (mother) and gives me a kiss every day,” said the adoptive mother, who does not plan to remarry. “I was dying to have a child.”

Naik is among the growing number of single, financially independent women, who are opting for adoption instead of relying on marriage to become ‘mommies’.

Actress Sushmita Sen, who set the trend by adopting daughter Renee in 2000, is also reportedly planning to adopt a second child. Thirteen of the city’s 14 adoption agencies — one Church-run centre does not allow single parent adoption — have an average of two single women on each of their waitlists.

“There is a dramatic rise in demand. Two years ago, we just had two to three single women enrolling across adoption agencies in a year,” said Vandana Patil from Adoption Coordination Agency, which oversees adoption in the city. Jassita Panigrahi, who heads Bal Vikas orphanage in Malad, pointed out that the number of enquiries are higher than actual enrolment. “We have been getting two to three enquiries from single women every month this year as compared to one or two enquiries per year in the past,” she said. On Wednesday, Panigrahi was attending the hearing of a single woman’s adoption application in the Bombay High Court, which approves all adoptions.

In past one year, adoption agencies have also received calls from single men but none have registered so far.

Most of the single women opting for adoption are 35 to 40-year-old, educated professionals who have either chosen not to marry or have not found the right partner. A majority of them are at the peak in their careers and don’t view being unwed as a hurdle to motherhood. “In the past, not having a father’s name as a middle name was a major issue. But there is a perceptible change in the society,” said adoption consultant Dr Nilima Mehta.