Recently released govt data revealed that almost 60% of prospective parents in Thane have shown a preference for adopting a girl child. This shifting trend highlights the change in the mentality of Indian society preferring male children over girls to continue the family name. 

It was the Thane district women and child welfare department which have made public the five-year compiled data on child adoptions. It shows since 2016, of 213 registered adoptions, nearly 122 were for a girl child. Social workers working closely with the prospective parents told that preference for girls is because they are easy to fit into a family and look after them when they get old. Officials also claim that almost each adopted girl is retained with their foster family and hardly one is returned over reasoning difficulties to bond with families. 

“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,” said Vandana Patil, deputy director at Janani Ashish charitable trust in Dombivli, one of the registered agencies for adoption in Thane, as quoted by TOI

Referring to case studies Patil said, not very long ago a well-to-do family pressed to adopt a girl child when they already have three boys. Another IT-based couple adopted a girl child even though they had a boy of their own. A childless couple based out in Thane adopted two girls in succession just a while ago. “The family told us they were keen on adopting a second daughter within a few years of bringing home their first,” Patil added. 

Amusingly, even foreign-based couples are interested in adopting girls over boys. Roughly 32 girls were taken home from Thane district by parents based out abroad in the last five years. Of these, ten were with special needs, said Pallavi Jadhav, child protection officer, Thane district.

But, officials and experts signalled that though the no. of girls being adopted is optimistically high, the no of daughters being abandoned or surrendered by their biological parents is also concerningly up. However, no official data was available, experts said approximately 65% of children at various child care institutes in the district were girls.

With inputs from TOI