Mandira Malik and her adopted daughter Maya. The single mother believes she is doing a good job. Image Credit: Supplied

New Delhi: Two women talk about their experiences of adopting children.

Mandira Malik, Chief Executive Officer, Something Else

"When someone asks me if I'm single by choice or by chance, I don't understand what difference it makes. But I do know that when I wanted to have my own family and feel the fulfilment of being a mother, I opted to adopt a child.

Of course, I did discuss this with my family and friends, as becoming a single parent is not easy and one needs a supportive infrastructure to bring up the child.

Especially, since I'm a full-time professional, all pros and cons had to be weighed. But fortunately, most of my family and friends were extremely pleased and have been there for me at every step.

Initial concerns

There were these initial concerns being single, that of the time and work required taking care of an infant. But it all got resolved soon to suit Maya, my daughter.

Maya came into my life in 2007. It was not difficult to adopt her. I first approached the adoption agency Palna in New Delhi in June 2007, but their registration was closed.

The officials there counselled me and the session gave me a lot to think about.

They asked me to meet them again two months later. By then I was clearer about my needs and decision. And I registered for adopting a girl child.

Maya is now three-years-old. And if I ask myself whether I'm able to give her enough time, compared to what I'd thought before the adoption, I feel I'm doing a good job."

Namrata Sharma, Journalist

"Although I haven't legally adopted my niece, Urvashi, who's now 19-years-old, I have been her parent since childhood. Her mother neither took the responsibility earlier, nor fought for the child's custody when my brother divorced her a few years back. Even while the two were together, I had by choice taken up Urvashi's responsibility when she was only seven.

There are times when I feel I should have formally adopted her, but mentioning it might hurt my brother, I've remained quiet on the issue. Because of this, I sometimes go through bit of a turmoil, changing my roles from being a single mother to a guardian.

When I informally adopted Urvashi, a lot of my friends warned me. They felt taking care of the girl child was an immense responsibility. How a child's gender matters is still beyond me. But I had the courage and conviction that what I was doing was right. And the decision itself gave me happiness.


About 12 years ago, being a single parent was unheard of, so I can say I was way ahead of my time. To me, it never mattered what society thought. Since I hadn't formally announced to anyone what I was doing, I saw judgement on many faces when I took her out with me.

Sometimes I used to refer to Urvashi as my brother's daughter, but as time passed and she started understanding the situation, she realised all by herself that she was more than a daughter to me."