A Single Dad Adopts a Kid With Down Syndrome and Gets a “Best Mommy in the World” Award
“Only a woman could take care of a child” were the words often uttered to Aditya Tiwari when he decided to adopt a boy with special needs. This man is the youngest single adoptive parent in India, and with his story, he managed to break some parenting stereotypes. We’d love for you to find out how a loving dad eventually proved he was no less than any mother for his adoptive son, Avnish.
The adoption day was a special one for both of them.
On January 1, 2016, Aditya Tiwari, an Indian software engineer, made history. A long time of struggle finally paid off and he brought his son, Avnish, home. What put Aditya in the spotlight of attention was the fact that by adopting Avnish, he had become the youngest single man to ever have adopted a child.
Aditya’s first meeting with the baby happened when the man went to an orphanage to give sweets on his father’s birthday. That was the day when he first saw Avnish, who was less than a year old. The boy was just lying in the bed somewhere in the corner. The warden told Aditya that such children were “mad” and that the boy would die soon. And it was all because Avnish was diagnosed with Down syndrome.
Aditya recalls his feelings after visiting the orphanage. He said, “When I went home that night, I couldn’t stop thinking about him. About how he’d be alone the whole night and was just left to die. So I went back to the orphanage and asked if they’d let me adopt Avnish. They laughed and said that a bachelor younger than 30 had no right to adopt.”
Aditya finally adopted Avnish when the little boy was just 22 months old. Since that time, the life of the new dad took a turn. The man soon quit his job as a software engineer and started counseling, guiding, and motivating parents who had kids with special needs.
Aditya learned a lot from fatherhood, and sometimes it was a bitter experience.
Even though Aditya knew that being a single parent to a special child would be very difficult, he knew Avnish was meant to be his son. The future dad faced huge problems concerning legal procedures, as the minimum age of adoption in India was 30 at that time. He wrote more than 100 emails, spoke with authorities and government officials, and fought for over 6 months before finally bringing his son home.
Aditya is a thoughtful and patient dad. He explained, “We have a special educator for Avnish. Special needs children have different toys and raising them needs a lot of patience.”
However, this dad is totally grateful for the chance to be a parent to a baby like Avnish. He revealed, “It’s a different experience and an adventurous one but we learn something new every day. I am glad to have him by my side. We are spending every bit together. What more could I ask for?”
The devoted dad now has a special award.
Aditya was given a World’s Best Mommy Award at an event in Bengaluru, which was dedicated to International Women’s Day on March 8. This award has become symbolic for the man, as he has a special message to deliver to all people who raise their kids alone, especially to single fathers. Aditya thinks that society is changing, but there’s still a long way to go in perceiving fatherhood.
He said, “There’s a different mindset when people see a man single-handedly raising a child. It’s not that we can’t parent or that it’s just the women who can do this. Society just sees us as breadwinners and not as the primary caretaker.” And Aditya wants to change the way people think about him and similar families.
Aditya added, “Taking care of a child is a tough but rewarding task. I don’t just go to work but I am also raising a life. I have heard so many times from women, ’Oh, we have carried a baby for 9 months, you have the easier job,’ but it’s not that. All parents and caretakers need equal credit.”
What are your feelings about Aditya’s adoption journey? Would you ever consider adopting a kid as a single parent?