The latest government data says approximately 60% of couples going for adoption in the Thane district have shown an inclination towards a girl child. We can see this as a big shift in the orthodox Indian mindset that preferred a male child to carry a family legacy. While international celebrities such as Mandira Bedi, Sushmita Sen, Raveena Tandon and Sunny Leone, have adopted girls, parents from the Thane district, too, are increasingly opting for adopting daughters.
Aditi Vinay who adopted two daughters said, “Becoming a parent is a lifelong assurance. If you don’t already have kids, be sure you are ready for all that is involved with adoption. If you do have kids, be sure you have the time and the space to care for another child. The number of homeless children will decrease to zero if each family adopts one child.”
Five-year data compiled by the Thane district women and child welfare department and accessed by Times of India shows that of the 213 child adoptions registered and executed since 2016, around 122, or roughly 60%, were for a girl child. Social workers engaged in counselling prospective adoptive parents said a majority of couples, including those who are childless or already have boys in their families, preferred a daughter believing that girls are more likely to settle in easily with the family and look after them when they’re old. Officials also said there were almost negligible cases of adopted girls being returned over not being able to bond with their foster families.
CARA CEO, Lt. Col. Deepak Kumar, said Indian couples desired girls for adoption. If 10,000 people want to adopt boys, there are 15,000 who want to adopt girls”.
Child rights activists claim that more girls are available for adoption, and subsequently, more girls are being adopted. Nothing much has changed in society.
Zenobia Khodaiji a social worker said, “There are many more girl children that are abandoned than male children. Most of the orphanages have more girls than boys. So, the modern couple chose a girl for adoption. Remember, people’s mindset has not changed but the availability of choices forces them to adopt girls.”
Vandana Patil, deputy director of Janani Ashish charitable trust in Dombivli, one of the registered agencies for adoption in Thane said, “Not just childless couples, even those who already have sons in the family go for adopting a baby girl as they feel she will be more emotionally attached to parents. Surprising as it may seem, it’s a welcome change.”
While citing case studies, experts said a few years back, an affluent family had insisted on a girl child despite having three baby boys, while another couple working in the IT industry adopted a baby girl even after they already had a boy. A childless couple from Thane also adopted two girls back-to-back recently. “The family told us they were keen on adopting a second daughter within a few years of bringing home their first,” said Patil.
However, officials and experts also pointed out that while the volume of girls being adopted is encouragingly high, the count of daughters being abandoned or surrendered by their biological parents is also quite high. Though no official data was available, experts said approximately 65% of children at various child care institutes in the district were girls.
These days, even transgender couples and those single parents who have a desire to have children are adopting a female child from various sources. They believe daughters need care; boys have little challenges.
Gauri a Trans-female told Afternoon voice, “I and my partner adopted a girl child since our PM said “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao“. We will raise our daughter and educate her.”