Acclaimed Ballroom Dancer & Choreographer
Being a Single Dad
Sandip Soparrkar is an Indian ballroom dancer and Bollywood choreographer. He is the first from India to be certified by the ‘Ballroom Dance Teachers Training School’ in Bonn, Germany.
Sandip is the first single male adoptive parent in India. He adopted Arjun, in October 2007, who was 18 months old then. It was the culmination of four years of perseverance in the face of uncertainty, including a year-long process of detailed scrutiny and evaluation of whether or not he was fit to be a father. “Adoption is an emotional decision – a need which can be felt as much by a man as a woman.” Even though the adoption process was fraught with legalities & formalities, Sandip affirms that Arjun has improved his life and given a chance, he would like to adopt a second child too.
Arjun is now a teenager. Right now, the biggest source of anxiety for the dad is his son’s impending adolescence. Arjun’s demands have started increasing; the shoes have started matching the belts. It’s a rite of passage that every parent has to brace himself for. But for a single parent, the phase can be a lot more taxing. However, Sandip is confident that this too, shall pass. In the end, he believes, what will remain is unconditional love.
Association with CSA in Sandip's words
You are an accomplished personality in your field. What made you look at adoption? Were you inspired by any particular person or a circumstance?
Adoption is not a field that one ventures into. Adoption is a feeling, it’s an emotion. Each person is unique in his/her own way, and anyone can feel this emotion. In my family we have had a case of adoption and that’s what inspired me since I was a teenager. When I felt I was emotionally and financially independent, I went for adoption.
The legal procedure to be a Single Adoptive Parent must have been cumbersome. What kept you going during that tough period?
Yes, it was a cumbersome process. It took me four years to get Arjun home from children’s home ‘Bal Anand’, all thanks to Ms.Sulochana Kalro and Ms Madhvi Matre who kept the case alive, and my fire to adopt kept it going.
You’ve been a part of CSA’s Adoptive Parents Workshops and Annual Fundraiser event. How was your overall experience interacting with everyone?
The CSA workshops for adoptive parents are amazing. They are informative and at the same time crucial to understand ourselves and our kids. The yearly fundraiser is the most important event for CSA as it helps us grow and take our motto – ‘A Family For Every Child’ – forward.
How do you manage to give enough time to Arjun, considering your work commitments and hectic schedule?
Samay hota nahi hai, banana padta hai (one never has the time, but one has to make time for loved ones). Arjun is my son, and I love him the most in the world. I might not have time for others but for Arjun, I have all the time in the world!
You have been associated with CSA as the Cause Ambassador for over eight years now. How would you describe the whole journey?
The journey has been rewarding for me. Through CSA, I came to know many new things about adoption and post-adoption care. I am humble, but the eight-year long association with CSA family makes me proud.
Being the first male Single Adoptive Parent in India, what message would you like to give to everyone willing to adopt?
If the thought of adoption crosses your heart, then just go for it. So when our heart speaks, it is time that you listened and followed it. So yes, it is true that our heart is on the left but I strongly believe that it is always right.