ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Orphaned Children and Childcare Institutions

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There are many stages in our life that change the direction of our living. Becoming a parent is such an important turning point in our lives. Parenthood changes both the way we live and think. When our daughter came into our lives, my wife and my life began to take a turn for the better. When we adopted her, she was only four months old. When we decided to adopt a child, we registered with the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), the nodal agency for adoption in India, as per law. After two and a half years of waiting, we were informed that we were having a baby girl. We immediately completed all legal procedures. Our daughter is extremely happy and energetic, but she was abandoned in the forest by her biological parents. There, she was bitten by ants and insects and also got bacterial infections. She was saved due to the alertness of the “emergency service ambulance” and its crew. However, the doctors who treated her suspected that she might have a kidney disease in the future and our anxiety grew further. How could such a small baby bear such severe pain was extremely disturbing. Fortunately, our daughter is healthy and has no illness. The reason for deliberately giving this personal experience is to draw everyone’s attention to the issue of orphaned or abandoned children.

It is estimated that there are 3 crore orphans and abandoned children in India, out of which not even 5 lakh make it to institutionalised care and around 3,000–4,000 get adopted every year. More than 1.5 lakh children were orphaned by COVID-19. There are more than 26,000 prospective parents who are waiting for referrals while the number of children legally free for adoption is very less. There are almost 2.6 lakh children living in 7,000 child care institutions (CCIs) in the country. Moreover, in India, if there is no family to take care of an orphaned child or a child has been abandoned, the government steps in. Only abandoned children, who cannot be cared for by extended family, can be adopted by strangers. This is a paradoxical situation, where, on the one hand, there are a large number of parents willing to adopt a child, and on the other, there are not many children available for adoption or living in CCIs, and a large number is further abandoned or orphaned.

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Updated On : 20th Oct, 2022
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