NEW DELHI: A parliamentary panel in a report on the review of guardianship and adoption laws has highlighed that with few children available in the adoption pool, average time taken for prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) registered with the Central Adoption Resources Authority (CARA) to get a referral for children in the age group of 0-4 years is approximately two years.
The report tabled in the just concluded monsoon session of Parliament on Monday noted with “grave concern” that as per the adoption statistics of CARA, the number of children adopted in the country declined from 5,693 in 2010 to 3,142 in 2020-21. Also the number of children taken in inter-country adoption showed a sharp fall from 628 in 2010 to 417 in 2020-21.
As per the information furnished by CARA, as on December 16, 2021, as many as 26,734 PAPs had registered with CARA and are waiting for referral for in-country adoption and 1,205 prospective adoptive parents were awaiting inter-country adoption. As per the information furnished to the department related parliamentary standing committee on personnel, public grievances, law and justice, by the ministry of women and child development, the average time taken for PAPs to get a referral for children in the age group of 0-4 years is approximately two years. Data provided by CARA, as on December 16, 2021, shows that a total of 6,996 orphaned/abandoned/surrendered children are residing in child care institutions linked with specialised adoption agencies, out of which 2,430 were declared legally free for adoption and 4,566 children were in process at different levels prior to being declared legally free for adoption by the child welfare committees.
The committee took note of the “paradoxical situation” where on one hand there are a large number of parents willing to adopt a child, on the other, there are not many children available for adoption.