New Delhi: Over the
past few years, fewer foreign nationals have been adopting Indian
children - and no, it's not a negative trend.
According to the Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA), the
central adoption agency, the reason behind the trend is that more
Indians are going for adoption.
For the simple but important reason that a child should preferably
grow up in an environment that is close to his or her roots and
imbibe that culture, CARA has been encouraging in-country adoption
over inter-country for a few years now.
"There is a steady fall in inter-country adoption and a rise in
in-country adoption over the past few years. The main reason is
that we encourage the latter and give preference to an Indian or
an Indian couple looking to adopt a child over someone else," Anu
J. Singh, member secretary of CARA, told IANS.
In 2008, for instance, the total inter-country adoptions were 821.
In 2009, it fell to 666 and further to 593 in 2010.
"This year, until June 30, the total number of inter-country
adoptions were 259," Singh said.
In comparison, the number of adoptions within the country have
been on the rise.
In 2008, the number of in-country adoptions were 2,169. In 2009,
it was 1,852 and in 2010 it was 5,693. And this year, until June
30, the number of in-country adoptions was 3,621.
The statistics also show an overall rise in adoptions.
"There is a conscious effort to encourage Indian couples to go for
adoption. We feel that a child should be as close to his or her
roots as possible. This is why we also give preference to
non-resident Indians (NRI)," Singh said.
There is also a general resentment about putting up children to
foreign nationals for adoption, she added.
"Often, people come to me and say that we should not put up our
kids for adoption to foreigners, should not send them away from
their place of birth. But then I tell them that although we too
would prefer a situation like that, we get a lot of foreigners
keen on adopting and it's better that a child gets a loving home
than wait endlessly for one," Singh said.
"Moreover, nearly half of the children adopted by foreigners are
those with special needs - who are turned down by Indians. So we
have to keep the best interest of the child in mind over
everything else," she added.
A lot of children adopted by foreign nationals are also those with
siblings who are taken together, who may have suffered from some
disease like tuberculosis because sometimes they come from
extremely impoverished backgrounds or are older than two years of
age or even more - all of which are reasons for most Indian
couples to overlook a child.
The top five countries from where people come here for adoption
are the US, Italy, Spain, Denmark and Sweden.
"But it feels good to see that the number of people opting to
adopt a child has risen dramatically. There is a change in
mindset. It's a positive change that we too have been pushing
for," Singh said.
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