In a country where state and central governments have been continuously fighting against female foeticide and where one regularly reads stories about the abandonment of girl children, it is heartening to see that there is a ray of hope too.
An RTI query filed to inquire about the number of adoption cases in every state of India since 2012 has revealed some very positive information. In a country where state and central governments have been continuously fighting against female foeticide and where one regularly reads stories about the abandonment of girl children, it is heartening to see that there is a ray of hope too.
In response to the RTI, the Child Adoption Resource Authority (CARA)—which is the apex body for adoption in India—revealed that about 60% of children adopted in the past six years are girls!
These statistics might immediately solicit the question of whether more girls are being adopted simply because more girls are put up for adoption.
Lieutenant Colonel Deepak Kumar, the CEO of CARA clarified this doubt saying, “It is not that the availability of the girl child is higher but that parents are opting more for a girl child. We give them three choices—they can either opt for a girl or a boy or give no preference. The percentage of those opting specifically for girls to boys would be 55:45.”
Maharashtra is currently leading the charts, recording 353 girl child adoptions out of the total 642 in 2017. The second to follow is Karnataka, with 286 adoptions, and 167 of them were girls.
One of the main factors that led Maharashtra’s high adoption numbers is the availability of adoption centres in the state.
“Maharashtra has the highest number of adoption agencies in the country (60) while other states that are bigger have on an average, 20 adoption agencies,” Kumar told PTI.
The year 2017-18 also showed a rising number of total in-country adoptions in India. Out of the total 3276 children adopted in the country, 1858 were said to be girls while 1418 were boys. These numbers show a slight increase from the year 2016-17 when 3210 children were adopted in India—of which 1915 were girls.
Speaking about the preference of Indian parents to adopt girls, Kumar said, “This reflects that things are changing now. Moreover, people feel that it is easier to manage a girl child than a boy, and that’s another big plus point for the girl child to be considered for adoption.”
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)