Mumbai: Nearly 60% of children adopted in the last six years were girls across states in India, led by Maharashtra which also recorded the highest number of adoptions in recent years, government data showed.
Of the 3,276 children adopted in the country in 2017-18, a total of 1,858 were girls, the data showed.
In reply to an RTI query filed on the number of adoptions in every state since 2012, Child Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) said Maharashtra was at the forefront in adopting girls. The number of girls adopted in 2017 was 353 out of a total of 642 adoptions in the state. Karnataka followed with 286 adoptions, 167 of them girls, CARA, the apex body for adoption in the country, said.
Maharashtra’s high score was not just because of the state’s size, but because of the large number of adoption agencies there, said CARA CEO Lt Col Deepak Kumar. “Maharashtra has the highest number of adoption agencies in the country at 60 while other states that are bigger have on an average 20 agencies,” said Kumar.
In 2017-18, there was an increase in the number of ‘in-country’ adoptions. Of the 3,276 children adopted within India, 1,858 were girls and 1,418 boys. The inter-country adoption also saw an increase, with the number rising from 578 in 2016-17 to 651 in 2017-18. In 2017-18, most adoptions of Indian children were by families in the US, Italy, France and Spain, Kumar said. In 2016-2017, out of the 3,210 children adopted within India, 1,915 or almost 60% were girls. Maharashtra (711) and Karnataka (252) again recorded the highest numbers, followed by West Bengal (203).
Data for the past five years showed that on an average, 60% of couples adopted a girl and 40.23 per cent a boy.
Kumar refuted reports that more girls were adopted because many more of them were abandoned.