In a major concerning event, the number of prospective parents outnumbered children legally available with the CARA (Central Adoption Resource Authority) for adoption. There are 1,936 children available with the central body but couples waiting for adoption are rising, with approximately 36,000 are lined up to adopt until the present. Of the children available for adoption, only 3% (61) were categorised as ‘healthy and below two years,’ while 1,248 were placed in the ‘special needs’ category. 

This was disclosed in the quarterly data analysis of voluntary organisation- Families of Joy (FoJ)- which underlined that till December only 10 children, below the age of two, are legally available for adoption in any state. FoJ data is based on figures on children from CARA’s CARINGS database for awaited parents. 

Avinash Kumar, the founder of FoJ, pointed out that because of the pandemic the waiting period has increased than earlier. Prospective parents have to wait for nearly two-to-three years for the most sought after group of ‘healthy and below two years’ aged children. Kumar showed concern on how the number of children legally available for adoption in the CARA pool decreased compared to previous years, despite the whacking pandemic orphaned many. 

The data also shows that 24% (463) of the children in the adoption pool are categorized healthy and above two years of age, while 8% (164) of the total were classified as sibling-sets. The analysis is indicative of the trends as CARINGS information is dynamic, the reason being those getting adopted dropped off the pool and new children keep getting summated. 

FoJ mentions data from December 2018 to indicate that the percentage of children below two years of age was 11% then and now it has further decreased to 3%. On the contrary, the number of children with special needs has gone up, it was 51% in December 2018 which rose to 56% in 2019 and 60% in 2020. The year 2021 alone accounts for 64% of such children. 

CARA officials cited that because of the Covid-19 pandemic the adoption and referral process slowed down, which is one major contributing factor to the challenges for adoption

With inputs from TOI