We may call ourselves literate and cultured, yet, India sees thousands of children being abandoned on the streets by young couples. Babies are found literally left to die at religious institutions and even garbage bins…
Female foeticide is a brutal reality that contributes to this phenomenon and often the male child is spared the abandonment. According to a report, almost 90% of the abandoned girls are eventually forced into trafficking and the others employed as child labour. Some orphans are coerced into begging and anti-social activities.
With reports pointing to over 11 million abandoned children, adoption is certainly, the need of the hour. Unfortunately. adoptions numbers are as low as 4,000 per year.
November is regarded as National Adoption Awareness Month, with particular focus on adoption of children currently under foster care.
The least we can do is spread awareness on the need for adoption and hence we went about speaking to citizens on this imminent need.
Eligibility criteria for prospective adoptive parents:
(1) The prospective adoptive parents shall be physically, mentally and emotionally stable, financially capable and shall not have any life threatening medical condition.
(2) Any prospective adoptive parents, irrespective of his marital status and whether or not he has biological son or daughter, can adopt a child subject to following, namely:-
(a)the consent of both the spouses for the adoption shall be required, in case of a married couple;
(b)a single female can adopt a child of any gender;
(c)a single male shall not be eligible to adopt a girl child;
(3)No child shall be given in adoption to a couple unless they have at least two years of stable marital relationship.
(4) The age of prospective adoptive parents, as on the date of registration, shall be counted for deciding the eligibility and the eligibility of prospective adoptive parents to apply for children of different age groups shall be as stated under Adoption Regulations 2017, Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government Of India.
(5) In case of couple, the composite age of the prospective adoptive parents shall be counted.
(6) The minimum age difference between the child and either of the prospective adoptive parents shall not be less than twenty-five years.
(7) The age criteria for prospective adoptive parents shall not be applicable in case of relative adoptions and adoption by step-parent.
(8) Couples with three or more children shall not be considered for adoption except in case of special need children as defined in sub-regulation (21) of regulation 2, hard to place children as mentioned in regulation 50 and in case of relative adoption and adoption by step-parent.
“Adoption in India is still not accepted with open arms. Even if a couple wants to adopt a child, the society has their own weird ways of interpreting the reason,” says Sambhavna Pradyuman, who adopted a girl child four years ago.
“My husband and I had decided well before our marriage, that we will have a biological child and then adopt another. This wasn’t acceptable by many. People believed that there probably is a medical issue with me, and that’s why I said this even before getting married. Our wedding was to be annulled, since I spoke my mind. But fortunately, my husband is progressive enough to accept and support my decision. Today, we are a happy family, blessed with a seven year old son and a four year old daughter who we adopted,” she smiles.
“Twelve years later, when I came to know that I wasn’t the biological child of my parents, I was taken aback,” exclaims Preetha. “I didn’t know how to react. But soon came to terms with the fact that my parents adopted me over their own child and have bestowed upon me, all the comfort and love. Being their only kid, I mean everything to them. I am grateful that such people still exists.
“They have made me independent and I too will definitely use my efforts to brighten the life of a child like my parents did,” she says nostalgically.
For Reshma and Fawad, adoption is a choice. “Since the time we got into a relationship, we have discussed adopting a baby. Today, after one year of our settling down, we have started working on the practicality of adoption. We are of the opinion that we must think of adopting a child with Down-Syndrome. These special children make my heart melt. Although we haven’t discussed it with anyone else or got anyone’s reactions but if circumstances permit, we will definitely adopt a child in next few years.
For more details : Child Adoption Centre, Pune: SOFOSH (Society of Friends of The Sassoon Hospitals), Sparsh, Shreevatsa Sanstha, Mahila Seva Mandal, Priya Darshani Shishu Graha
#Interested parents can contact the organisations mentioned above, and get finite details on the procedure. These suggestions are in random order.
#Procedural details mentioned are purely indicative and must be confirmed with the authorities concerned.
#All Respondent names changed to protect privacy.
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