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

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Slide # 9

Promote cradle baby scheme throughout India.

India census 1991 to 2001, it is believed that there are millions of girl babies unaccounted for (missing). Reputed British Medical Journal “The Lancet” has published an article recently to say that approximately 10 million girls may have perished in the name of infanticide in the past 20 years.

In India, preference for boys is so strong that some people prefer an abortion to a girl birth. This menace has reached such levels that Indian government had to pass a legislation called “Pre-natal sex determination test (PNDT Act)” that prohibits sex determination by an ultrasound.

State of Tamilnadu has introduced an innovative program called “Cradle baby scheme” to address this issue head on. In every collector’s office (administrative head of a geographical area) there’s a symbolic cradle in which parents that are contemplating of relinquishing the child can place the baby there and sign the legal documents in privacy and dignity. Some districts that are identified as high prevalence for infanticide have saved literally hundreds of babies through this scheme.

Now the minister of women and child development like to see this scheme being expanded to the entire nation. I say “God’s Speed”. This needs to be done through proper legislation with adequate checks and balances where the mother and child’s lives are protected and an appropriate home is found for the child. This needs to be implemented with urgency.

In this context, “open adoption” where the biological mother (or/and father) is actively involved in choosing an adoptive family for her/their child must also be considered. This might enable women with unplanned/ unwanted pregnancies to consider giving their child up for adoption rather than just killing through abortion.

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