Meet the father who changed the law of adoption in India

New Delhi: While we wish and thank our fathers for being there to take care and guide us, there are many unfortunate children who do not have the privilege of the being loved by a father. One such child was Binny, whose parents abandoned him at an orphanage in Indore since he had special needs.

On a fine September day, Aditya Tiwari visited the Missionaries of Charity’s orphanage, Jyoti Niwas, in Indore, to distribute gifts among the children on his father’s birthday. There he spotted Binny.

Aditya who hails from Indore had been working as a software engineer with Barclays in Pune. Upon enquiry, he found out that Binny had Downs Syndrome and no prospective adoptive parents were interested in him. With a heart full of love and affection he expressed his desire to adopt the child, but his request was turned down. Back in 2014, as per Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), no single parent below the age of 30 could adopt a child, and since Aditya was 27 at the time, he had to wait.

Aditya’s inspiration was Bollywood actor Sushmita Sen, who is the mother of two adopted daughters. “When I heard about Sushmita Sen’s decision of adopting a baby, I was really inspired to adopt someday as well, it was like a childhood dream for me…”

Little did Aditya know that his dream would actually come true. It was never a planned action for the techie, he says, “It was a very spontaneous decision. When I saw Binny (now named Avnish) and got to know that nobody wanted to adopt him since he was physically and mentally handicapped, I decided to adopt him.”

Too many questions were raised against his request since he was under-age and unmarried. The orphanage and society, in general, suggested him to have his biological child. He was told that being a man he could not take care of a child since it was a woman’s job. Even his intentions of adopting this child were questioned by the orphanage.

“They tried to convince me to drop the idea of adopting Avnish. They wanted to know why I wanted to adopt him in particular, so I had to convince them that I did not want him at any cost; if they did not want to give Binny to me, they should make sure someone else adopts him legally,” said Aditya.

Upon research, Aditya also found out that Avnish was not in the government record for 14 months, and could have fallen victim to child trafficking, even the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) wasn’t aware of him. He also discovered that along with Avnish, over 30 kids from Bhopal were not in government records.

After a very lengthy process of writing emails and letters to the Prime Minister, the President, and several leaders, in a request to make the adoption possible, Aditya finally brought the boy home on January 1, 2016, and became the youngest single parent in India.

Aditya had to agree on several conditions since it was a rare case. “I was told that they would make visits anytime to check on Avnish’s health and living conditions. But in the last two-and-a-half years nobody even called or e-mailed to check on Avnish, leave aside visiting him,” informed Aditya, who was continuously discouraged from adopting.

“They told me how Avnish would never be able to stand on his own feet ever, how his physical conditions will not improve, how I’ll lose my job over this, and how no girl would marry me.” But Aditya defied all odds.

Avnish found a family when he was almost two-years-old but he could neither walk, crawl, or sit on his own. Aditya took an adoption leave for five months from work to take care of him and within six months there was a new spark in Avnish’s life. His eyesight problems, thyroid problems, constipation, and heart ailments were sorted and under control, he started walking, and now he has a lot of friends. Avnish is one of the most loved children in the regular playschool he goes to, informed his father.

Avnish now has a loving mother as well, as Aditya got married to Arpita, a lecturer, later. Even their wedding was a unique affair as 10,000 special needs children, along with their guardians, were invited for the ceremony. And over 700 zoo and street animals were given a treat.

 

Aditya, Avnish and Arpita

Aditya’s endeavour changed a lot 

  • Aditya’s fight for Avnish even helped change the country’s law, and brought down the minimum age of a Prospective Adoptive Parent (PAP) from 30 to 25, in 2015
  • He unearthed a major scam of illegal adoption of children from orphanages
  • His love and care towards Avnish has given the child the confidence and reason to live and enjoy life
  • Avnish’s health has improved after receiving proper treatment and care

“Every child deserves love and care, and parents should believe and have faith in their child. Only then can the child perform,” concludes Aditya.