NEW DELHI: Nearly 60 per cent of children adopted in the last six years were girls across states in India, led by Maharashtra which also recorded the highest number of adoptions in recent years, government data showed.
Of the 3,276 children adopted in the country in 2017-18, a total of 1,858 were girls, the data showed.
In reply to an RTI filed by PTI on the number of adoptions in every state since 2012, Child Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) said Maharashtra was at the forefront in adopting girls.
The number of girls adopted in 2017 was 353 out of a total of 642 adoptions in the state.
Karnataka followed with 286 adoptions, 167 of them girls, CARA, the top body for adoption in the country, said.
Maharashtra’s high score was not just because of the size of the state, but because of the large number of adoption agencies there, said CARA CEO Lieutenant Colonel Deepak Kumar.
“Maharashtra has the highest number of adoption agencies in the country at 60 while other states that are bigger have on an average 20 adoption agencies,” he told PTI.
In 2017-18, there was an increase in the number of in-country adoptions. Of the 3,276 children adopted within India, 1,858 were girls and 1,418 boys, according to the data given in response to the RTI query.
The inter-country adoption also saw an increase, with the number rising from 578 in 2016-17 to 651 in 2017-18. In 2017-18, most adoptions of Indian children were by families in the US, Italy, France and Spain, Mr Kumar said.
He said most people who wished to adopt children did not want a child who was older than 4 or 5 years of age.
“So the probability of a child getting adopted almost diminishes to negligible domestically if the child crosses the age of 5-6 years. I have 20,000 parents registered but we have very few children of a younger age who are legally free for adoption,” he said.
The other issue was people’s reluctance to adopt a child with special needs.