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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Why adoptions in India are getting fewer and longer?

Recently, Indian media reported that adoptions in/ from the country are getting longer and fewer. Personally, I agree on some but disagree very strongly on some opinions expressed because there’s lack of information and misinterpretation of facts etc. When CARA reports the number of adoptions in a year, is it reporting all the adoptions in the country?

Let me explain the different kinds of adoption agencies and who licenses them to help you understand this argument. Currently, there are totally three different kinds of adoption agencies in India namely “Registered Indian Placement Agency” (RIPA), “Shishu Greh”, and “Licensed Adoption Placement Agency” (LAPA). Out of these three kinds, CARA licenses RIPA and Shishu Greh’s while LAPA’s are licensed by the respective states. The numbers that have been reported in the media are of those controlled by CARA. Agreed, that the numbers on year on year basis may have shown a decline but there’s no trace of the numbers LAPA’s.

In the CARA issued booklet of adoption agencies, there are 102 LAPA’s in India and most of them are located in small towns. More and more Indians are patronizing these agencies. Even if one adoption/ month had taken place in one LAPA, that is 1224 legal adoptions/ year by all the LAPA’s put together. I understand that LAPA’s are not licensed by CARA but if it calls itself as an autonomous body that is representative of the federal government, can they at least not tabulate the numbers of all the adoption agencies in the country? Different licensing authorities (CARA and the States) are good for adoption because of “Separation of powers”.

It is a known fact that demand for adoption in India has grown tremendously in recent days but one other reason for lengthy adoption process is this: In general, Indians have a strong preference for a boy child. I am not qualified enough to say one-way or the other about their preferences but I do know that a child is a child that needs a loving home. Efforts must be put in place to educate and empower the prospective adoptive families about how to/ how not to choose a child when adopting. I say this because when a family puts down their preferences to find a needle in the haystack, their process will get longer.

About the inter-country adoptive families accepting special needs children in larger number than Indians do, the reason behind it is not just to “Serve God” as reported by the media to have been said by the CARA chairperson, it is the love for the child first and then the other benefits such as medical insurance that their respective societies provide. Indians are no less religious nor spiritual but their circumstances doesn’t allow them to accept a special needs child, as they cannot afford provide medical care. Lesson in short: Special needs children can be placed in Indian homes if CARA is willing to explore the ways and means provide help to the Indian adoptive families to accept special needs children.

There’s no question that there are problems in Indian adoptions but what makes any entity stronger is looking at the problems in it’s face and turning them into opportunities. It takes courage, confidence and creativity to do that.

Ruby

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