Do you know this?

There are approximately 18000 parents registered with CARA, while the number of children in the Government's adoption pool is less 1800.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

How to promote domestic adoptions in India

Various sources seem to suggest that there are a lot of orphans in India but CARA numbers suggest that domestic adoptions only range between two to four thousands per year. What is the missing link? Is it that Indians are not receptive to the concept of adoption like their counterparts in the west do?

Before answering that question, let's look at what the law says about promoting domestic adoptions within India? India is a signatory to a UN convention called "UN Convention on the rights of the child" and the article 21 (B) of the convention says this: "Recognize that inter-country adoption may be considered as an alternative means of child's care, if the child cannot be placed in a foster or an adoptive family or cannot in any suitable manner be cared for in the child's country of origin"

The above said article is saying that every possible option must be exhausted to find a solution in the country of one's origin before the "alternative means" are explored.

Now coming to answer the question, there are multiple reasons for Indians not being very open to the concept of adoption such as social, economical, religious and legal. Apart from all this, awareness of this concept in the communities around us may be minimal to seek any kind of help.

We know now that we are legally bound to promote domestic adoptions but we are not. We also know why. So the next logical step would be to explore "HOW". Let me explain this with an example. I will address the issue of economical hindrance to domestic adoptions. CARA's stipulated maximum allowable expense is Rs. 25,200/- but the per capita income (average income of one Indian per year) is Rs. 20,700/-. This means India is denying a poor Indian from adopting with a mandate. By a mandate, we are denying a constitutionally bestowed fundamental "right to equality". This needs to be changed to reflect the per capita income.

Likewise every hindrance (such as private adoptions, unplanned pregnancies and special needs children) must be addressed with creativity and innovation to make sure that all options are explored to promote domestic adoptions (including foster care). Inter-country adoptions do have a place as the article said but only as an "alternative means".

Do you have an innovative/ creative idea that can address any hindrance to promote domestic adoptions? Do you mind sharing here? Write in the comments section below.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ruby, this is a very valid point you have made. I think we will need to spread the word around. The plight and the number of orphan children can enthuse people to adopt. I am disheartened to see the money angle being used in this. Its if the person adopting is in need of a child and so should pay up. Its not being considered that the person might be doing it for the good of the child.