GUWAHATI, July 14 - It is a choice that single women in Assam have now started making with changing social mores, while their male counterparts remain doubtful starters!
Putting taboos in the backburner, women in the State are slowly, but surely, coming forward to become single mothers through adoption, a trend linked with women empowerment.
However, contrary to the fairer sex, the State is yet to witness a single male willing to adopt till date, Government records reveal.
An official of the State Child Protection Society informed that till date nine single women have adopted children from Assam, of which four are based in the State itself. Most of these adoptions were made in recent years.
The remaining adoptions were done by single mothers based in New Delhi, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and two foreign countries, including New Zealand and Spain, some of whom also have an Assamese connection.
All the nine babies were adopted through the special adoption agencies based in Kamrup Metro and Jorhat. There are at present 19 such agencies in the State.
�The women who came forward to become single mothers represent varied walks of life with different social and financial backgrounds, which is even more encouraging,� the official told The Assam Tribune.
Another official in the Social Welfare Department divulged that the number of women applying for single motherhood through adoption will only increase and there are enough indicators.
�What was virtually unthinkable a few years back is becoming commonplace. However, there remains a gap between children available for adoption and the overall registration of parents willing to adopt,� the official said, adding, �Single dads, unlike single moms, are not allowed to adopt a girl child, which many believe could be a hindrance�.
In the last 10 years or so, a total of 439 children were adopted from the specialised adoption agencies in the State, of which 26 were inter-country adoption. These 26 parents are based in countries like Italy, USA, Malaysia, New Zealand, Canada, Denmark, France and Spain.
Further, of the 439 adoptions facilitated in the last 10 years or so from the adoption agencies, 242 of them were baby girls.
Sources informed that there are still nearly 250 parents (including single mothers) waiting in the wings, while the number of children available for adoption is somewhere near 100.
As far as the national scenario is concerned, since August 2015 when the new adoption guidelines had been introduced, 412 single women got themselves registered with the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), which regulates and monitors adoption of Indian children.