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India Sees Rise In Adoption Of Girl Child & Punjab Leads The Trend, Reveals Data From Hindu Adoption Act

Updated on Mar 19, 2024, 16:09 IST

In many countries, there is a strong desire for having a male child. Among Hindus specifically, one factor driving this preference is the belief that sons will perform the final rites for their parents. However, recent adoption data highlights a shift in this trend. Surprisingly, over the past two years, there's been a growing inclination in India towards adopting more girl children, with Punjab leading this change. 

Adoption data across states 

The data was presented by the Union government through additional solicitor general Aishwarya Bhati and is based on adoptions in India under Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act. (HAMA). 

Out of all adoptions documented under HAMA, 9,474 girls were chosen by adoptive parents, surpassing the 6,012 boys selected. 

Punjab and Chandigarh have stood out as frontrunners in India's pursuit of gender equality.

Among the 7,496 adoptions registered under HAMA in the state, 4,966 were girls, while 2,530 were boys. 

These are the adoption date from other states:

It is important to note that the findings are based on data under HAMA shared by 11 states, which recorded a total of 15,486 adoptions in 2021-23.  

Children below 6 years of age are preferred for adoption 

Nevertheless, regardless of their gender, the favored age range for adopted children continued to be under six years old, 

According to the tabulation by CARA, 69.4% of registered prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) prefer children aged 0 to 2 years, while 10.3% opt for those aged 2 to 4 years, and 14.8% choose children aged 4 to 6 years. 

UNICEF data shows that India has 253 million girl children and adolescents, with a sex ratio at birth of 929 girls per 1000 boys as per NFHS-5. 

It will take collaborative efforts from different departments, NGOs, and international organizations to improve the status of girl children and challenge patriarchal norms that undervalue them.

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