NEW DELHI, July 4 - As many as 11 States and the Union Territories (UTs) in India don�t have any children in the 0-2 age group who are legally free for adoption, according to figures available in the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System (Carings).
The age bracket is significant because �normal� children in this age group are the most in demand among prospective adoptive parents (PAPs).
�Most adoptive parents want to experience all the stages of a child�s life so they prefer to adopt children as young as possible. Also, they think that it will help them bond,� said Lorraine Campos, assistant director, Palna, one of Delhi�s oldest adoption agencies.
Data from Carings, the Government�s central data base for adoptions across the country, shows that Arunachal Pradesh has 2,315 PAPs waiting in queue for children between 0-2, but no agency in the State has children available in that age group. In fact, only two children are available for adoption in the north-eastern State. They are in the 8-10 year age group with 67 parents in waiting.
Jammu and Kashmir has no children available for adoption. But 2,297 parents are waiting in line for children in the 0-2 age group. Nine other States and UTs follow a similar pattern of no children in the 0-2 age group but thousands of hopeful parents lining up.
While Daman Diu has 2,322 PAPs waiting, Chandigarh has 2,590, Himachal Pradesh 2,553 and Lakshwadeep 2,302. The north-eastern states of Meghalaya, Mizoram and Sikkim together have 8,087 PAPs on the waiting list. Pondicherry has a list of 2,404 PAPs and Uttarakhand 2,502.
In contrast, there are few takers for healthy, older children. In Maharashtra, for instance, 31 children are available for adoption in the 2-4 age group, but only seven PAPs are in queue; 24 children are available in the 4-6 year bracket with only four PAPs ready to take them on. However, in the 0-2 age group, where there are only 24 children available, there are 3,623 PAPs waiting.
Explaining why so few children are available for adoption, Ian Anand Forber Pratt, director, Children�s Emergency Relief International, said most �orphans� living in childcare institutes (CCIs) are not �orphans�. � PTI