Meet Aditya Tiwari, the youngest single man in India to adopt a child
Despite India putting up a progressive face when it comes to certain issues, it’s an unfortunate reality that adoption still remains a tricky subject with many in the country.
Regardless, once in a while it so happens that you come across stories of people that bring a smile to your face. And,
Single and just 28 years old, Tiwari became the
Back in 2014, Tiwari, 26, was distributing sweets on the occasion of his father’s birthday at an orphanage of the Missionaries of Charity in Indore when he first spotted
Binney had made the orphanage his home after being abandoned by his parents from Bhopal because he had a hole in his heart and suffered from Down’s syndrome.
“There were a lot of kids at the orphanage when I was distributing a few things there; however Binney caught my eye because he was lying on a cat away from all the revelry. When I went to play with him, he held my finger and wouldn’t let go. I instantly felt affection at that moment, however truth be told I didn’t think of adopting him then.” Tiwari explains.
The exact moment when he decided he would adopt adopt Binney came barely a month later when he revisited the orphanage and found out that while many other children had been adopted, no family was willing to take Binney as their own.
Suddenly, Tiwari knew Binney would be his son. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as easy as he thought it would be.
As expected, there were several roadblocks in store for him. Initially, his parents objected to the idea. It took them quite a while to warm up to the idea of their unmarried son adopting a child with special needs. Then there were the orphanage authorities who told him that they could not let a single man adopt a kid as The Missionaries of Charity were against single-parent adoptions.
Having made up his mind, Tiwari was not one to give up. For the next few months, he kept revisiting the orphanage in order to convince the sisters about his intentions. He also went ahead and contacted the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare Department (WCD) and even sent over 100 emails to Maneka Gandhi.
The move paid off as the ministry wrote back to him informing that in India, the legal age for an unmarried man to adopt a child is 30 years. But, Tiwari was unwilling to wait for 4 more years.
He thus complained to the Prime Minister’s Office, wrote to some members of Parliament and human rights activists asking that the age-limit be amended so he could adopt the boy at the earliest.
He even met the boy’s biological parents to understand why they deserted and was shocked to learn that they were financially capable of handing Binney, but abandoned him because they feared being an embarrassment to the society due to his condition. Hearing that, Tiwari was even more resolved to father Binney.
He once again petitioned the PMO and WCD.
AdvertisementWhat happened next was one of the turning points in Tiwari’s life.
Sometime in August 2015, the laws of
Understandably, Tiwari was elated when he heard of the change and a ream of government officials got to work to conduct a detailed background check on him.
And, finally on December 2015, after struggling for 15 months, Tiwari received a mail that instructed him to take Binney home in the first week of January.
AdvertisementBinney who is now approximately two years old has been christened as Avinsh Tiwari by his father.
Tiwari understands that due to Down’s syndrome, his son’s mental growth will be slow as compared to other children, but he is determined to not give up unlike his biological parents.
“I have consulted quite a few doctors and they’ve advised me that it would be better for Binney if he is around children more. There happens to be a daycare in my office building and I intend to keep him there when I’m at work,” says Tiwari, who also gets adoption leave for 150 days from work.
Aditya is an example that a man doesn’t have to be married to be a loving father.
Image credit: Friday Magazine
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