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A single parent shares her journey of adopting her child, and challenging social norms

"The first question anybody asks my child is: 'Tumhaare papa kahaan hain?' (Where is your father?). It is a normal question. But I tell them she does not have a father."

Written by Prerna Mittra | New Delhi | Published: April 15, 2020 5:20:13 pm
single parents, adoption, adoption story, parenting, indian express, indian express news Supriya Deverkonda with her seven-year-old daughter Maanasvi. (Photo by Arti Anand, courtesy Supriya Deverkonda)

As a society, we have evolved a lot over the years. But, there still exist some constructs. The concept of family and parenthood, for instance, is still viewed from the prism of old-school understanding. There has to be mother and a father, who together, will then raise a child. But, what about those who are raised by a single parent? And if there is no co-parent in the picture at all?

There are many stories of people opting to adopt children and raise them as their own. They do it with or without their families, regardless of their marital status. And Supriya Deverkonda’s story is one of them. The 40-something Gurugram-based analytics expert, who works at a multinational company shares her motherhood journey with Express Parenting.

“My decision to become a mother and adopt a child was not a spontaneous one. My parents were always supportive, and they never had an issue with it. My mother did mention marriage. She asked me if I could marry someone first, and I said okay. In 2012, I had waited enough and did not find any compatible partner. That is when I decided to go ahead for adoption,” she tells us.

Deverkonda then went ahead and registered under the old Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) system. Since 2017, the system has changed a bit and everything has become more centralised and digital.

ALSO READ | Girl child is adopted more in India. All you need to know on adoption, from CARA

Deverkonda’s daughter Maanasvi was five-and-a-half months old when she brought her home. “Questions of why someone is going for adoption and not marriage always arise. In my case, some people came and asked me directly, some asked my parents about it. But in my inner circle, my family and friends accepted my decision. In fact, my parents were always welcoming of my daughter,” she recalls. She remarks that single men are also coming forward to adopt and they face similar questions, of why there is no mother in the picture.

“It is not about women or men; single parenthood is not the norm in the society. People often wonder how you will manage all by yourself. They feel having two parents will be better for the child. The first question anybody asks my child is: ‘Tumhaare papa kahaan hain?‘ (Where is your father?). It is a normal question. But I tell them she does not have a father. I do not always correct all the people. I only correct those with whom I know I will have a long-lasting relationship,” she says.

Maanasvi, now seven, sees a father figure in her granddad. “We keep having these conversations. She knows I am not married, and that is why she does not have a father. She is comfortable with that,” reveals Deverkonda.

“Motherhood is a beautiful journey. It has its ups and downs. But, there are little joys which are incomparable. For example, when you are unwell and your daughter makes you lemon juice, along with a ‘get well soon’ card — that is an unparalleled experience. Or when you come back from office and receive a big hug…” she adds.

To all the parents — single or married — who are looking to adopt, Deverkonda has just one thing to say: “Please be transparent with your child from the beginning. Let the child know the truth. Seek help if you are not sure how to break it to your child; there are counsellors who can help you. The journey will be beautiful when you are honest from the very beginning.”

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