Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Among the children adopted from Madhya Pradesh during the Covid period (2020-21), 66% were girls - the highest in the past five years.
According to official data, a total of 148 children were adopted in 2020-21, of which 98 were girls. Eighty-four girls were adopted by Indian parents and 14 by foreigner parents. In the same year, a total of 50 boys were adopted, of which the number of in-country and inter-country adoptions was 42 and 8 respectively.
Over the past five years, more girls than boys have been adopted from MP. From 2017-18 to 2021-22, a total of 865 children living in homes run by Specialised Adoption Agencies in the state were adopted by parents from India and abroad. Of them, 504 were girls and 361 were boys. Girls outnumbered boys in both in-country and inter-country adoptions.
A total of 732 children were adopted by parents living in India. Of them 413 were girls and 319 were boys. As many as 133 children were adopted by parents from foreign nations, of which 91 were girls and 42 were boys.
In 2017-18, out of the 196 adoptions, 122 (62%) were of girls and 74 were of boys. In 2018-19, of the 212 children adopted, 124 (58%) were girls. In 2019-20, the total number of adoptions was 169, of which the number of boys and girls was 85 and 84(50%) respectively. In 2021-22, the total number was 139, of which 76 (54%) were girls and 63 were boys.
Children available for adoption are those who are permanently separated from their biological parents either because his/her parents have died, or have abandoned or surrendered her/him. Children in the 0-18 years age group can be adopted, though most adoptive parents prefer children who are less than five years of age.
Children from the state have been adopted by parents from the US, Spain, Belgium, Austria, and Malta among others. In-country adoptive parents were from the state as well as from Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.
There are 33 Specialised Adoption Agencies in the state, which are supervised by the State Adoption Resource Agency (SARA). Of them, two each are located in Bhopal and Indore.
It is very heartening to note that even childless couples are preferring girls over boys for adoption. The trend became more visible during Covid-19 pandemic. It may have been due to the large number of deaths changing people’s mindset. Anyway, it is a positive and welcome development.
-Vishal Anand Shrivastava, Project Officer, ICPS, Directorate of Woman and Child Development
People prefer girls as they are more caring. One of the key expectations of parents is that their children should take care of them when they turn old. In this respect, daughters do far better than sons.
-Prarthna Mishra, social activist
‘Strike a nice balance’
When we ask parents why they want to adopt a girl child, they say that daughters take good care of their parents as well as their parents-in-law. They strike a nice balance between the two families.
Mrinal Bhilala, counsellor