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Monday, April 14, 2008

How not to measure an Indian family’s worthiness to adopt a child?

If you have been reading my posts on different forums in the past year or so, I have raised the issue of disparity of adoption costs (for Indian families) compared to the income of average Indian family. What I mean is this: Maximum adoption costs prescribed by CARA for Indian families is Rs. 25,200/- while the per capita income calculated by Central Statistical Organization for the year 2006 is Rs. 20,700/-.

By this calculation, an average poor Indian doesn’t ever hold a chance to adopt a child. Recently when I raised this issue with an adoption professional, I was reminded that the families are for children but children are not for families. What this statement means is that a child is entitled to a good home (or a family) but every family is not necessarily entitled to a child. I couldn’t agree more.

In continuation to the above argument, I was told that the costs are deliberately kept high so that a good family that can afford to take care of the child is found. In essence, it is presented that a family’s economic prosperity is directly proportional the worthiness of the family to take care of the child. I couldn’t disagree more.

If economics is the only criteria, in India, contrary to private sector, a public sector employee earns less but has the ultimate job security with pension and other retirement benefits. To deny a child a home of a public sector employee purely based on income levels is completely missing the point.

I understand and agree with the spirit of the logic used but restricting to evaluate a family’s worthiness to adopt by simply evaluating their income levels may be agrarian in nature. This policy also can implicitly promote illegal adoptions among the low socio-economic status families, as they see no way out to adopt a child legally.

Hope some other criteria can also be built in to find a suitable family along with income levels.

Ruby

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