Adoption, surrogacy and embracing motherhood in her late 30s, Sunny Leone has been on an unconventional path ever since she and her husband Daniel Weber decided to be parents. Sunny says that she always wanted to be a mom but didn’t know when or how that would happen. Letting us in on a secret, she shares, “I always wanted to have three children though, and God did answer my prayers.” However, she chose to become a mother in non-traditional manner, leading the way for other women, who are at similar crossroads in life.
Sunny says that both methods to have children, be it surrogacy or adoption were a “personal choice” she made in order to continue working sans a break. She says, “It wasn’t about breaking any form of stereotypes. It’s a very personal choice to someone as to how they want to have children.”
In 2017, Sunny and Daniel adopted Nisha Kaur Weber, their first child from Latur, a village in Maharashtra. She was 21 months old at the time. They were aware that it would certainly change the course of their lives forever. However, the actress asserts that she follows the American style of parenting, which involves making her children more independent.
“Daniel and I decided to follow a very American style of raising our children from the moment we had our daughter, Nisha. Even though we have help around here in India, we have made sure to distribute the duties amongst us. We have created an environment at house where we promote independence. My daughter has her own room, her own space and we respect her privacy and she loves that,” she elaborates.
Asked if she plans to have the conversation around adoption with Nisha, Sunny says, that she will disclose the fact to her daughter. Be it adoption papers to every minute details, Nisha will know that she is not the woman who bore her for nine months, but is connected to her soul.
In 2018, the couple welcomed twins Asher Singh Weber and Noah Singh Weber via surrogacy. The most common question here was why Sunny opted for surrogacy and not adoption for the second time. Once again, calling it her “choice”, she maintains, “We chose to do surrogacy with a fertilised egg from Daniels’s genes and mine for surrogacy. My sons Asher and Noah are our biological children.”
Describing how she felt about having three children within a short span of time, the 39-year-old says, “We planned and tried to have a family, and after so many years it is now complete. We are proud parents of three beautiful children.”
Asked if parenting a girl is any different than that of a boy, Sunny quips: “It is Mars versus Venus! They are completely different with their needs and wants. How they’re disciplined, how I need to react to what they’re doing, what kind of care or attention is needed, it boils down to a very different topic.”
Sunny, born as Karenjit Kaur Vohra in middle class Sikh family in Canada, has picked up quite a bit of her parenting techniques from her mom, Balwant Kaur Vohra. “What I found out when I was making aloo ke paranthe in the kitchen, was that I was just like my mother, constantly thinking about my children; whether they are going to have enough food to eat, being worried about their safety, are they keeping well or not.”
Reminiscing the times, she spent with her mother, Sunny says that it mostly involved cooking, camping and learning how to knit “which wasn’t really successful but fun to learn.” She says, “My mother would always bake me a cake for my birthdays. But the best thing was when she would brush my hair or give me a hug or kiss.”
Speaking of a lesson she picked from her mother and inculcates in her kids, she says, “My mother would always tell me to be independent and that’s what I tell my kids. That we have to rely on ourselves and not others to be successful or get things that we need.”
The actress, who has been working non-stop despite the ongoing pandemic, feels that she’s a better mother when she’s providing for her children and that one day, they will thank her for it.
Sunny says, “I am a working mother and I am at my best version when I am out working and earning for my family and my children. I have to provide for my children and my family, I’m just doing what every other person out there is doing for their families. I am sure my children will be proud of me and will be grateful to me for the same.”
Sunny is a “forever proud mom” who appreciates and gets exited of any achievements of her kids. Be it learning to button up their shirt, to putting on a mask properly, to learning to hold their cutlery or painting or simply learning a lesson at the fire station about fire safety. In these trying times, Sunny, like any other protective mother has been going out there and providing for her kids, which means not siting at home and working really hard. She says, “I’m no different. Being at home is not going to solve anything if we can’t sustain certain type of lifestyle. Everyone works to take care of their family, and I’m also doing the same thing.”