By Gilvester Assary
March 21, 2011 / deccanchronical
Queues outside adoption centres across Kerala are growing just like the aspirations of prospective parents who want to adopt a child.
But the huge gap between the number of children available for adoption and those wanting to adopt, clearly indicates that it’s going to be an agonisingly long wait for many.
The Kerala Council for Child Welfare in Thiruvananthapuram has over 500 applications pending for 60 odd children. The situation is no different in 14 other registered adoption centres where around 175 children are up for adoption against hundreds of applicants. With the process of clearance taking five to six years, in many cases the selected children become too old for adoption.
“Hundreds of childless couples in Kerala have completed the legal formalities to adopt a child according to the Central Adoption Resources Agency guidelines and the list is still growing,” said an official from the department of social welfare.
There has, of course, been a slight increase in the number of adoptions. As many as 135 adoptions took place in 2009-10 and between April and December 2010, the number crossed 182. And a significant trend was in the high number of female adoptions — 105 girls to 77 boys.
“Prospective parents do prefer a girl child but the large number of girls up for adoption in the centres is also one reason for this trend,” says the caretaker of a private adoption centre.
The high rate of infertility amongst married couples in Kerala, particularly in the last decade, has escalated the demand for adoption. With a high infertility, most couples exhaust all possibilities before they come to adoption centres. They now have something to cheer about.
Last month the Central Government put the entire process of adoption on a online platform. A national database is being created of the children up for adoption and the number of parents wanting to legally adopt. This system will be introduced in Kerala shortly.