Adoption may be getting greater cultural acceptance today as an option for childless couples or those who want to raise a child as single parents. The hitch, however, is that aspiring parents outnumber the children available in adoption homes in the State by well over six times.
According to statistics available with the Department of Women and Child Development (DWCD), while there are 115 children who have gone through all the legal processes and are ready for adoption, the number of pending applications is 751 in 30 adoption agencies in the State.
In contrast to Karnataka, states like Orissa and Maharashtra have more children available for adoption. “As a result, many aspiring parents from here tend to apply in adoption agencies in other States,” said an official in DWCD.
Lost to trafficking? The official said the problem in Karnataka is that orphaned or abandoned children often get trafficked and do not come into “the legal adoption loop.”
Hospitals, both government and private, tend to give away children without the mandatory legal process.
The department official emphasised the need for a greater synergy between the Health Department and DWCD, to ensure that more children enter the legal adoption process. “Unless the official process is thorough, there is the danger of the child eventually getting no legal status in the family,” said the official.
The department officials involved in overseeing the adoption process said that in many instances, those who wish to adopt also tend to be impatient with the legal procedure. “While people are willing to wait nine months to have a child, they are in a hurry when it comes to adoption,” said the official.
On the other hand, parents-in-waiting said they are getting tired of the long wait. “I wish we had a mechanism where we are updated periodically and there is greater hand-holding on how to go about if we have to approach other State agencies,” said Priya Krishnamurthy (name changed), an HR professional who enrolled nearly two years ago in an adoption agency in the State.
Workshop for adoptive parents, those looking to adopt
November is observed as Adoption Awareness Month across the world. Sudatta, a support group for adoptive parents, will hold a two-day residential workshop, beginning November 22, on the theme ‘Therapeutic parenting in adoption’, at Fireflies on Kanakapura Road here. There will be separate sessions for adoptive parents and prospective adoptive parents.
Subramaniam P.M., president of Sudatta, said this was their annual signature event to create awareness on adoption and focus on an issue related to adoption. For details on the workshop, visit www.sudatta.org.