Childless Couples Prefer Girls For Adoption In Odisha

Bhubaneswar: At a time when the girl child ratio is declining in many states, childless couples appear to be showing more interest in adopting girls in Odisha, reports said on Sunday.

This was reflected in the children’s adoption data of the past five years (2017 to 2021). The data reveals that a total of 869 children from Odisha have been adopted by couples within the state, outside the state and also foreign countries.

As many as 581 female children from Odisha have been adopted by Indian and foreign couples during the period, while the number of adopted male children stood at 288, less than half of the girl children adopted during the period.

Of 869 children, 704 were adopted by couples in India while 165 children were adopted by foreigners between 2017 and 2021, they said.

While Indian couples have adopted 462 girl children and 242 male children from 24 of the 30 districts of Odisha, foreigners too adopted more girl children (119) than boys (46) from 17 districts.

The highest number of 119 children have been adopted from tribal-dominated Sundargarh district. The other districts registering a good number of adoptions include Keonjhar, Cuttack and Khurda.

“We are still living in a gender-biased society. Parents prefer a boy child to a girl because he may help them in their old age,” social activist Namrata Chadha was quoted by IANS as saying.

In many instances, it has come to notice that people abandoned the girl child in garbage or roads because they wanted a boy. These girls have been brought to childcare homes and adopted by single parents. That’s why there are more adopted girls, said Chadha.

A senior official from the State Adoption Resource Agency (SARA) said both male and female children are being adopted. However, prospective adoptive couples are more interested in adopting a female than a male, he said, adding that a few people have come forward to adopt children with special needs.

Both Non-Resident Indians and overseas Indians have adopted children from Odisha. Basically, people from countries like the US, Canada, France, Italy, Spain and the UK, have adopted these children from the state, the news agency said.

Informing about the protection of the adopted children especially the girls, the official said detailed guidelines are there about the eligibility criteria for adoption like a single male cannot adopt a girl child.

A proper mechanism has been put in place at the state and national levels for monitoring adopted children in India. Besides, Indian diplomats and foreign adoption agencies are supervising the adoption process and monitoring the children in foreign countries, he added.

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