It is a state with the lowest child sex ratio in the country. But a girl is the preferred child for adoption. This week two Italian couples adopted Pari and Aditi, both five-year-old girls, from the Haryana State Council for Child Welfare.
Council officials say more and more people - from Haryana as well as abroad - are choosing to adopt girls from the state.
The number of girls adopted from Haryana has gone up from five in 2001 to 22 last year, council adoption officer Poonam Sood said.
The council, a non-governmental organisation, is headquartered at Chandigarh, with the Haryana governor as its chairman and the chief minister as its vice-chairman. Though there's another, smaller organisation that facilitates adoption in the state, effectively all adoptions are carried out by the Haryana State Council for Child Welfare. Agreeing that fewer people abandoned male infants, she, however, said that the waiting lists for girls and boys showed more takers for the former.
"We, as of today, have 32 girl and eight boy infants in our orphanage against the waiting list of 52 couples seeking girl child and about 30 couples for boys," she said, adding that waiting list for the girl child had never been so high. Since the council was set up in 1981, 154 girls have been adopted within Haryana, Sood said. The corresponding figure for boys is 83.
Counting the latest adoption of girls by Mauro Bettin and Antonella Copetti and Locatelli Alessandro Marcello and Lomardini Donatella, 76 girls have been adopted by foreigners or NRIs. For boys, the figure is a dozen. The trend of more girls being adopted has also got a boost because of the Juvenile Justice, Care and Protection Act, 2011, which is flexible.
A delicate process
"When we get infants abandoned by their parents left in very serious condition, we not only strive to get them cured and bring up them, but tell them when they learn to talk that their parents are away and would take them back soon," said Sood.
On being approached by any family, the council examines the family's need for adoption and in case it is genuine, begins to steadily acclimatise the child and the family by showing the child their photos, names and other details. "Since the adoption process is governed by the parliamentary act, we follow up the adoption with the help of central and state authorities till the child completely owns up the family."