NEW DELHI: There are just 75 children under two years who are healthy—the most sought after category — available for adoption in India legally.
This effectively means just one “wanted” child per 346 parents in waiting, as there are nearly 26,000 registered prospective adoptive parents in India.
The data maintained by the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System, under the Union Women and Child Development Ministry, shows that out of 2,290 children, available for adoption in India in September, just 3 per cent are healthy.
In comparison, the number of such children was 11 per cent in June 2018.
The number of children with special needs, available for adoption, on the other hand, has been growing steadily.
Around 60 per cent of all children up for adoption have medical needs such as HIV, blood conditions, heart conditions, vision impairment, hearing impairment, cleft lip, autism or other health issues.
Trends suggest that while couples from abroad are more willing to adopt children with special needs, Indian parents are reluctant in accepting children with physical or mental disability.
The dwindling number of children available for adoption has forced the Central Adoption Resource Authority to call a national level consultation next month to review the adoption rules and regulations.
“We are hoping that changes that lead to more children from childcare institutions getting registered with CARA come through after this consultation,” said a senior WCD official dealing with adoption.
Describing the scenario as ‘alarming’, an adoption activist in Pune said, “With only a handful of healthy kids up for adoption—how does the government expect thousands of prospective parents to adopt legally?... What will they do if not turn to the grey market?”