Over 1100 Children Returned in the Last 5 Years, But Adoption on the Rise
While the total number of children returned may seem high, adoption statistics show a rise overall, and the number of children returned each year is going down. The CARA official said about half of the older children who are adopted are returned by parents due to "adjustment issues".
Over 1,100 children adopted across the country have been returned to child care institutions by their adoptive parents in the last five years, according to the nodal adoption body CARA.
Most of the children were returned due to adjustment issues which is seen mainly in case of older children (over 8 years of age), according to a senior Central Adoption Resource Authority official.
According to information accessed by PTI through an RTI, the highest number of children were returned in 2014-15.
A total of 387 out of a total of 4,362 adopted children were returned in 2014-15 while in 2015-16 a total of 236 out of a total of 3,677 adopted children were returned by adoptive parents, the RTI data showed.
In 2016-17, a total of 195 out of 3,788 adopted children were returned while in 2017-18 a total of 153 out of a total of 3927 adopted children were returned by adoptive parents, the data showed.
In 2018-19, a total of 133 out of 4027 children were returned by adoptive parents, the data showed.
Among states, the highest number of children were returned in the last five years from Maharashtra at 273 followed by Madhya Pradesh at 92, Odisha at 88, and Karnataka at 60, the data showed.
The CARA official said about half of the older children who are adopted are returned by parents due to "adjustment issues"
He stressed on the need to prepare children for child care institutions.
"At child care institutions, children are groomed in a different way. They have to be prepared and counselled to stay and adjust with families," he said.
He further said that in many cases it is seen that children have developed a strong bonding with their caretaker at child care institutions due to which it becomes very difficult for them to leave them and move into a family.
The official said that families also need to be prepared for taking care of the children.
"Even the parents have to be counselled and prepared. The parents think that as soon as they bring a child they would put him in an age specific class and the child should start putting in effort due to which the child feels he was better off there at the CCI with his or her friends and he expresses a desire to come back to the institution," he said.
The official also stressed on the need to build social infrastructure at the ground level.
"Each state is supposed to have state social welfare board but these have become defunct in most of the states, if these infrastructures are energised and put in place then service can be delivered but that is yet to be made operational on ground," he said.
He said CARA, the nodal body of adoption, is conducting a study to look at ways to prevent it.
Dr Nimish G Desai, director of the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, said this experience can be "very traumatic" for the adopted children.
"Children living at child care institutions already have a rough experience of rejection early in his or her life and this (returning back to CCIs or shelter homes) will only further add to it," he said.