West Bengal: Single mothers stand by MP Nusrat Jahan’s decision not to name baby’s father – Times of India

Kolkata News

KOLKATA: After star MP Nusrat Jahan gave birth to a healthy baby boy on Thursday, there were discussions among mothers in the city who, by choice or compulsion, have chosen not to disclose names of their babies’ fathers in the past.
Visual artist Eleena Banik was divorced in 2003. “Though I was in a relationship, it was not possible for us to get married. I had a miscarriage in 2010 after I conceived our first child,” she said. Banik was already a public figure when she was pregnant in 2011. “Due to medical restrictions, I had cut down on my public appearances. I was a little superstitious and didn’t want to disclose my pregnancy. I didn’t need to mention the father’s name at the hospital. But I faced some problems during my daughter’s school admission,” she said. Eleena remains single. Her daughter now knows her father’s identity but it is their choice not to make it public.
Director Anindita Sarbadhicari’s single motherhood journey began eight years ago through IVF. “A mother has every right not to disclose the name of the baby’s father. Being someone in the media’s limelight, I know it isn’t all that hard for us to live life by making that choice. It should be easier for Nusrat, being a star MP, to simply choose to ignore all the hullabaloo. It’s much more challenging for women without access to the media eye to make the choice. Fortunately, I personally know many who are doing it now and are getting acceptance, too,” she said, referring to Sawan Sen, associate professor of an engineering college, who decided to become a single mother by choice in 2015.
Sen insisted that she never took this decision to prove that she was a bold or a brave woman. “When I finished my work, I wanted to look forward to going back to someone at home. Using IVF was a natural choice for me. This identity is neither to be celebrated nor hidden. I just keep it understated and don’t want to stand out. My daughter quite normally mentions me if asked the names of her father and mother,” Sen said. Society, to some extent, has become more accepting of mothers and children who can’t disclose the names of their fathers. “That’s because the number of such cases is increasing. I had no problems admitting my daughter in school,” Sen added.
Sarbadhicari recalls that her initial reaction was to be in-your-face. “I used to underline this identity so that my son had less questions to tackle once he grows up. Today, nobody even has paternity questions in his context,” she said. However, she is cautious of a risk of clinging on solely to this identity more than the other facets of their life. “Beyond a certain point, underlining this identity is detrimental to the personal growth of the mother and the child and might come in the way of normalizing such choices,” she said.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/single-moms-stand-by-nusrat-move-not-to-name-babys-dad/articleshow/85667578.cms