Adoption is back in business at home

Sunday, July 10, 2011, 13:11

Rashi Aditi Ghosh/ Zee Research Group

Adoption is back in business in India. The adoption levels within the country more than doubled in the last four years. In contrast, adoption of kids born in India abroad has registered a sharp fall. But nobody is losing sleep over that.

According to the latest data made available by the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), under the ministry of women and child development, domestic adoption levels increased from 2409 in 2006 to 5693 in 2010. This is by far the best adoption level with the lowest being 1852 recorded in 2009.

The scenario for the inter-country adoption level involving adoption of kids from India abroad, however, presents a negative picture. Inter-country adoptions fell from 853 in 2006 to 593 in 2010. This shows that Indian children are no longer counted as preferable option for adoptions by foreign couples, according to the official data by CARA.

Anu J Singh, member secretary, CARA told ZRG, “Inter-country adoptions have gone down because domestic adoptions are given first preference now. The ratio which was 50:50 for domestic and inter-country earlier has now been revised to 80:20 for domestic and inter-country respectively. We want our children to be in the country.”

Mamta Sahai, chairperson, child welfare committee said, “Inter-country adoptions are becoming non popular and majority of them are found to be harmful in nature as some adoption agencies prefer to give the children to foreign countries for adoption because they are paid more.”

“These adoptions are most likely come up with horrifying results like child abuse and child trafficking,” she alleged.

The outflow of children from India has traditionally been to the United States, Italy and Spain. Official data by the bureau of consular affairs, US state department, showed that the adoption rate from India to US fell from 472 in 1999 to 241 in 2010. As against India, 3401 and 1079 children were adopted by couples in US from China and Russia, respectively, during 2010.

US couples adopted children from abroad under the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter country Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention), which says that all adoptions between India and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and the US law implementing the Convention. The pre-requisite for such adoptions is that these would be allowed only after the option of adoption within the country was fully exhausted. India is a signatory to the convention.

Explaining the declining trend for inter country adoptions, Dr Sameer Malhotra, head, division of psychiatry, Fortis hospital said, “Parents want children who can perform future roles just like their biological children. Both parents and the children need to relate with each other then only inter country adoption can be accepted.”

He endorsed the trend for domestic adoption saying that he had many clients waiting in the queue. “Couples are keen to adopt but would like to do due diligence,” he disclosed.