March 21, 2023

36,000 couples in queue, but CARA has 1,936 kids: Report | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: A total of 1,936 children were legally available with the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) as of December last week while the number of couples waiting to adopt kept rising with an estimated 36,000 of them now in queue. Of the children available for adoption, only 61 (3%) were categorised as ‘healthy & below two years’ and as many as 1,248 (64%) were put in the ‘special needs’ category.
In its quarterly data analysis released on Friday, voluntary organisation — Families of Joy (FoJ) — highlighted that figures collated over December show that the maximum number of healthy children below two years, legally available for adoption in any state, as on date is just about 10.
The data is based on figures on children from CARA’s CARINGS database for prospective adoptive parents. FoJ founder Avinash Kumar cautioned that the pandemic has increased the already-long waiting time for the couples.
The wait was already two-to-three years for the most sought after category of ‘healthy & below two years’, he said. Comparing data from previous years, Kumar added that it was “shocking that even after the mammoth Covid disaster that orphaned thousands of children, the number of kids legally available for adoption in the CARA pool has actually dropped by end of year to 1,936”. The data also shows that of the total children children in the adoption pool, 463 (24%) healthy children were above two years and 164 (8%) were categorised as sibling-sets. FoJ analysis is reflective of the trends as CARINGS database is dynamic given that those getting adopted keep dropping out of the pool and new children keep get added.
FoJ cites data from December 2018 to point that the percentage of children below two years was 11% then. “It was already low but now it is a mere 3%,” says Kumar.
On the other hand, the share of children with special needs has gone up — in December 2018, it was 51% and it rose to 56% in 2019 and 60% in 2020. The share for 2021 is around 64%.
According to CARA officials, the pandemic period has been a challenging one with the adoption and referral process slowing down.

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