Moins d'enfant adoptable en ville / Fewer children up for adoption in city

Mumbai, November 24, 2008

First Published: 01:17 IST(24/11/2008)

Last Updated: 01:48 IST(24/11/2008)

Fewer children up for adoption in city

It will take you much longer than nine months to become a parent, if you plan to adopt. At least in Mumbai, the city with the highest number ofadoptions in India. "We used to tell prospective parents to wait for at least the duration of afull-term pregnancy. Not anymore. There are simply no children available,"said Dr Lina Kashyap, chairperson of the Mumbai Adoption Coordinating Agency(ACA), the state wing of the Central Adoption Regulation Authority, underthe Union ministry of women and child welfare. In 2007, Mumbai registered 509 adoptions. This year, figures till Octobershow a 43 per cent dip, with only 290 cases. As the Adoption Awareness Week,between November 14 and 21, came to an end, around 150 families are on the2008 waiting list. It was 50 families in 2007.The city has 14 adoption agencies, the most in any Indian city. One in sixadoptions in the country (16 per cent of the total) was from Mumbai in 2007.But now all agencies have 15 to 25 parents on their waiting list for over ayear. "This will the first in many years that adoption figures may not touch400," said Vandana Patil, coordinator, Mumbai ACA.The reasons for a 'shortage' of children are unclear. "It seems that thenumber of single mothers, the biggest source of children for adoption, isdropping," said Sunil Arora of Bal Asha. The easy availability of emergency contraceptive pills could be one reason,said adoption agencies. "One also cannot discount illegal abortions andillegal adoptions," said Kashyap.The shortage has led to some positive changes. "People are acceptingdark-skinned children despite the great Indian obsession for fairer skin,"said Kashyap. Harsha Seth of Bal Anand Trust, a Chembur-based adoptionagency, revealed: "We have even been able to place three children of HIV+parents. Till now, it has not been possible even when the kids, as in thesecases, don't have HIV and are healthy."


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