Breaking conventional diktats and throwing social stigmas to the wind, a bunch of young, educated Amdavadi women have embraced their motherhood dreams without apparently getting married. While some cases do relate to pre-marital conception with the woman in a relationship which then went wrong, a sizeable number of others relate to “financially independent” single women who chose to go ahead with “a decision to give birth.”
In past five years, some 22 women have registered themselves as single mothers with the registrar of birth and death records maintained by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC). These women have recorded only their name in the birth certificates while choosing to keep the father’s name column blank.
In fact, the years 2019 and 2022, saw six women each deliver an offspring and then, opting not to volunteer paternity details of the child, shared AMC sources.
According to rules, the child is registered at birth in the hospital itself. Details are then forwarded to the registrar of birth and death records of the city. Here, name and sex of the child, birth date, birth registration number, mother’s name, father’s name, place of birth, ward, mother’s temporary residence address and mother’s permanent address have to be mentioned.
Sources said that conventionally, if police find an unknown pregnant woman, she is sent to the women’s shelter homes. If such a woman gives birth, the name of the mother or father is not mentioned in the birth certificate. If the pregnant girl is a minor, the name of the husband may not be mentioned in the records. “Eight cases fall in such category while 22 women chose to become single mothers and opted not to mention paternity details in birth certificate of the child,” said sources in AMC.
Officials further added that women can get birth certificates without mentioning the name of the father. In fact, the state government in a resolution issued in 2005 had directed schools not to insist on mentioning father’s name in school records and register students under names of their mother’s alone if such cases arose. Experts say this is a sign of women empowerment in the society where more women are exercising their right to become mothers without getting married.
“The Supreme Court has ruled that becoming a mother is a fundamental right of a woman and she can choose to become a single mother. I have helped two women in their 30s become single mothers through artificial reproductive technology as they did not want to get married but did not want to lose on the experience of motherhood,” shared leading fertility expert Dr Kanthi Bansal.
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