They are breaking stereotypes. They have a family — without the wedlock and its prangs. They have a child without the delivery pains! And they are enjoying every bit of the best of both worlds. These women have the courage and conviction to live by their own rules and strongly believe in the concept of a family. Yes, the single mom generation has arrived in a big way and changed the family ways in our metros like never before. As Dr Vinita Bhargava, founder of Delhi-based Alternating Parenting Network Association (APNA) and President of the Central Voluntary Adoption Resource Agency (CVARA) admits, “Till few years ago, there were very few cases of adoption by single parents. But now we see that the numbers are going up.”
And this trend is making most adopting agencies change their mindset towards single parents and mend their ways. As Leila Baig, Secretary CVARA shares, “Earlier agencies were a bit hesitant to encourage adoptions by single mothers. But now we feel that as long as they are financially independent and have a viable support system, we don’t have any problems in giving the child. From what used to be a rare occurrence, applications from single mothers to adoption agencies are now pouring in.”
However, Deepti Priya Mehrotra, political scientist, points out that single mother as a category is not recognised in the census data. A single mother herself, she accepts that unless you have a good support system it is difficult to bring up a child.
And herein lies the challenges and responsibilities of a single mom —- being the sole parent, breadwinner and homemaker — multitasking personified. And they soon realise the joys of being a single mom comes at a price.
Right from the adoption costs to everyday expenses all start to count. As Delhi-based freelance consultant Praneet Sukanya Kapur shares, “I spent close to a lakh for the entire process. The cost of the adoption went higher since I had to fly between Indore and Delhi a couple of times along with my mother before all the formalities were completed. Now I spend somewhere around Rs 6,000 per month which includes expenses for the maids, diapers, vaccines among other expenses.”
So did Sulekha Chatterjee. A self-employed single woman based in Delhi who had to shell out a single standard fee of Rs 15,000 that she feels is lesser than what