Hyderabad: The slogan ‘Beti Bachao’ is being taken seriously, and the number of female children being adopted over the past five years may be a metaphor for the changing times. From 2013 to now, statistics derived from the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) show that the number of girl children adopted within the country is almost 70 per cent more than the number of male children.
A total of 8,363 girls have been adopted against 5,770 boys. Telangana state and Andhra Pradesh are among the top five states from where children have been adopted. Among the families that adopted a child is a couple of software professionals from Attapur. The couple was childless for eight years as the woman suffered from a medical condition. The family enrolled at a city-based adoption home and insisted on adopting a girl child.
“We wanted a Lakshmi, because my in-laws had two sons and two male grandchildren from my brother-in-law’s family and we needed a girl. Though the home offered us male children, we waited for two years for a girl child,” the woman said. Another couple, David and Sheela from Bowenpally, childless for 15 years, enrolled at the Ameerpet orphan home to adopt a girl child. “My sister has two daughters and I wanted a girl too. After a year’s wait, the officials from state home completed verification in July this year and the application is under process,” Ms Sheela said.
Families complained of the time-consuming process to adopt children. “The delay is because of the lengthy procedures and pending requests,” one of the women who had adopted a child said. There are still families who want to adopt a son for different reasons. A couple from Vanasthalipuram has been waiting for a male child for over eight months now, because of the insistence of the in-laws to carry forward the family name. A librarian by profession, the woman who was married for seven years ago said she could not conceive due to medical problems.
“I spent lakhs on my medication, but it didn’t work. If I don’t have a male child, the properties will be transferred to my brother-in-law’s son,” she said. Though there is a greater preference for girls, the figures show that the rate of in-country adoption has dropped by 40 per cent. Mr Rakesh Dubbudu, founder of Factly, an independent information portal, who fetched an analysed details from reports submitted to the Lok Sabha, found that in-country adoptions had decreased over the past seven years.
“The ministry has simplified the process of adoption of orphaned or abandoned children in order to bring transparency. The government through Adoption Regulation 2017 has improved its guidelines with a goal to expand the adoption base and streamline the process. The number of in-country adoptions has gone down by over 40 per cent in the last seven years,” Mr Dubbudu said.