Adoption woes in Kerala: Many parents, not enough kids

According to the adoption agencies in Kerala, the demand for children has increased over the years and there is one almost every month.

Published: 10th October 2019 06:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th October 2019 07:44 PM   |  A+A-

Adoption

Adoption

Express News Service

KOCHI: While campaigns are in full swing encouraging adoption, the fact remains that there are more number of people willing to adopt than the number of children waiting to be adopted. As per the data available, for every 15 adoptive parents, there is just one child in the state, which is higher than the national average of 1:10.

According to the adoption agencies, the demand for children has increased over the years and there is one almost every month. Ernakulam is the only district with four adoption agencies in the state.  They are Snehajyothy Sishubhavan at Pulluvazhi, Nirmala Sishubhavan at SRM Road, Valsalyam Sishubhavan at Kalamassery and Sishu Bhavan Sisters of Nazareth at Karukutty.

“The demand for children is high in the state. Since everything happens online, parents cannot choose the agency. The child is allotted to parents based on the list prepared, composite age of the parents and gender preference,” said Liya Paulose, social worker of Sishu Bhavan, Ernakulam.

“Every month, at least one child is adopted from our agency. Parents say their number on the all-Kerala waiting list reduces by 30 every month. And around 2,500 parents are on the list now,” she said.  “Most of the children in the centre are those who were surrendered by their mothers. We do not get many children through Ammathottil,” she added. This year alone, around 15 children were adopted from Snehajyothy Sishubhavan.

Since the number of adoption agencies is more in Ernakulam, the number of children getting adopted is also high. While 24 children were adopted in 2017, 36 were adopted in 2018. In 2019, till Septembber, 23 children were adopted.

“As per statistics, adoption is increasing as there are more agencies in the city.  Also, we have been trying to increase awareness among the public,” said Saina K B, District Child Protection Officer.

To curb illegal adoptions, the child protection offices in the district have been active in publicising the method of adoption, the procedures to follow and the different agencies in the city.  “We have been giving maximum publicity through media. Also, boards are displayed in government hospitals educating people on the same. Another initiative is to promote adoption at panchayat-level,” she said.

Adoption procedure

Those wishing for adoption should register their names on the official adoption portal of Central Adoption Resource Authority with relevant documents.The application will be verified by officials concerned after uploading a home study report on the portal. Based on their seniority, the applicants can view the profile and photos of up to three children offered by the portal.If they don’t select a child, then their seniority will fall behind.

The children are offered for adoption on the portal based on several factors, including the age of the prospective parents. If the combined age of the parents is below 90 years,  then children of the age 0-4 will be offered. If the combined age of parents is 90-100, then the age of the allotted children will be 4-8. Above 100, the age of the children will be 8-18.

The rule became strict in 2015 and the uniformity in the adoption procedures is one of the reasons why there is a high demand for children.“It was in 2017 that the government issued adoption regulations. Since the online portal for adoption is accessible for both parents and officers after registering, the parents find it convenient and transparent. The transparency in the system has helped parents,” she said.

Four adoption agencies

Ernakulam is the only district with four adoption agencies in the state.  They are Snehajyothy Sishubhavan at Pulluvazhi, Nirmala Sishubhavan at SRM Road, Valsalyam Sishubhavan at Kalamassery and Sishu Bhavan Sisters of Nazareth at Karukutty.

Since the number of adoption agencies is more in Ernakulam, the number of children getting adopted is also high. While 24 children were adopted in 2017, 36 were adopted in 2018. In 2019, till September, 23 children were adopted.

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