India may have a skewed gender ratio, but the female child happens to be the first choice when it comes to adoption. The number of female children placed for in-country adoptions and inter-country adoptions between 2015 and 2018 are relatively higher than male children.
During this period, about 11,649 children were put up for in-country adoptions; of them 6,962 were girls and 4,687 were boys. Of the 3,011 children that were placed for in-country adoption in 2015-16, as many as 1,855 were female children. In the year 2016-17, as many as 3,210 children were placed under in-country adoptions and of them 1,915 were females. The figures for 2017-18 and 2018-19 (till December 2018) were 3,276 and 2,152, of which the numbers of girl children were 1943 and 1249 respectively.
All the figures put together, female children comprise almost 60% of all in-country adoptions. When it came to inter-country adoptions, the number of female children was even higher: 69%. Of the 2,310 children placed under adoption between the same period, 1,594 were females.
The data was tabled by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in the Lok Sabha on February 8, in response to a question by members Tej Pratap Sigh Yadav, L.R. Shivarame Gowda and Anju Bala.
Prajakta Kulkarni, a member of the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), said there was little doubt that more girls were being adopted and it reflected that gender bias and the attitude of people against the girl child are changing across the country. Ms. Kulkarni, who represents the NGO-run Specialised Adoption Agency in the CARA steering committee, said the whole issue of more girls getting adopted needs to be looked into with research.
More girls for adoption?
Sindhu Naik, member, Adoption Scrutiny Committee, State Council of Child Welfare (Karnataka), said that one has to also look whether more girls were coming for adoption. Ms. Naik said that the urban middle class people were preferring female children because they are concerned and aware of the situation of the girl child. The situation may not be the same for villages and small towns, she said.