Disability cannot be a barrier to parenting

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities was celebrated on Monday, December 3. However, for this special couple in Kolkata, it has been a celebration ever since their adopted daughter came home on June 7. The mother is one of India’s most vociferous disability activists and has cerebral palsy.

The couple, Bappaditya Nag and Jeeja, instantly felt a connection when they first met Hiya at a home in Odisha’s Koenjhar district in May. They had applied for adoption two years ago, and eventually meeting Hiya made them certain as to who they wanted as a part of their family. But the entire adoption wasn’t a smooth journey for the two. Officials involved in the adoption process raised concerns about Jeeja’s ability to take care of Hiya, considering both her physical and mental health. That angered Bappaditya immensely and he claimed that the officials need to be educated about cerebral palsy. Yes, maybe they weren’t fit enough to run a marathon, but they were certainly fit to become parents.

Eventually the adoption was allowed with the cooperation of the eastern regional head of Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) which is the nodal adoption agency. Bappaditya and Jeeja have certainly found their hearts in Hiya and have in turn opened numerous possibilities for similar people with disabilities to find a “Hiya” of their own.


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