Girls outstrip boys in adoption in India: Basics Explained


Of the 2991 domestic ‘in-country’ adoption made between April 2021 and March 2022 as many as 1698 were girls. It is also corroborated from the data of CARA from 2013-14 onwards that more Girls are given for adoption in India than boys.  it additionally brings into focus the truth that typically there are lots of extra women who’re deserted at start than boys. Therefore, many extra of them are more likely to make it to the adoption pool and get adopted.

Number of children available in the adoption pool remains small. The variety of youngsters out there within the adoption pool is just too few to match the demand of hundreds of keen potential adoptive mother and father (PAPS)

There are over 26,000 prospective parents who are waiting for referrals while the number of children legally free for adoption is very less.


The adoption in India takes place under Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 (HAMA) and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 (JJ Act). HAMA, 1956 falls in the domain of Ministry of Law and Justice and JJ Act, 2015 pertains to the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA):

CARA is a statutory body established under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. It functions as the nodal body (Central Authority) for adoption of Indian children and is mandated to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoptions. It primarily deals with adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children through its associated/recognised adoption agencies, in accordance with the provisions of the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, 1993.

The database of children and registration of parents are done on centralized CARINGS (Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System) software maintained and managed by CARA.

Adoption of every child requires them to be declared legally free for adoption through Child Welfare Committee under Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act,2015.

Who can be adopted?

A child can be adopted if s/he is:

i. An orphan, abandoned or surrendered (OAS) child who has been declared legally free for adoption by the Child Welfare Committee (CWC)

ii. A child of a relative (a relative means the child’s paternal uncle or aunt, a maternal uncle or aunt or paternal and maternal grandparents)

iii. A child or children of spouse from earlier marriage surrendered by the biological parent(s) for adoption by the step-parent.

Who can adopt?

i. Prospective adoptive parents (PAP):- who are physically, mentally and emotionally stable, financially capable and who do not have any life threatening medical conditions are eligible to adopt.

ii. The minimum age difference between the child and PAP/s shall not be less than twenty-five years


i. Married couples with at least 2 years of stable marital relationship

ii. Both spouses must consent for adoption in case of a married couple

iii. The composite age of the married couple does not exceed 110 years


i. Single persons with or without biological or adoptive children can adopt provided they satisfy the


(a) A single female can adopt a child of any gender

(b) A single male is not eligible to adopt a girl child

(c) Age of a single parent does not exceed 55 years.

(d) Must have less than four children unless they are adopting a child with special needs, a hard[1]to-place child, a relative’s child or a step-child.

ii. If you find any abandoned child in the need of care and protection, any of the following can be contactacted

(a) CHILDLINE (Toll Free Number-1098)

(b) Local Police

(c) Any Specialized Adoption Agency (SAA)

(d) Child Welfare Committee (CWC)

(e) District Child Protection Unit (DCPU).


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