For a city that has the worst sex ratio among the metros, this is indeed a surprising trend.
When it comes to adoption, Delhiites are preferring girls over boys. The percentage of girls being adopted has gone up considerably in the last decade.
According to the data available with the State Adoption Resource Agency, (HT has a copy), most couples prefer girls to boys.
The data points out that from 56.3% in 2002, the percentage of girls being adopted went up to 65.3% in 2011. Last year, of 150 children adopted, 98 were girls. In 2009, the total percentage of girls adopted was 66%.
“This trend could be attributed to the awareness campaigns by the Delhi government. Another factor is the emotional bond that girls share with their parents,” said Premoday Khakha, assistant director, (Integrated Child Protection Scheme), department of women and child development.
The 11 adoption agencies recognised by the Delhi government said that most couple seeking to adopt children belong to the middle and upper strata of society.
“Most of the couples want to adopt girls and their percentage has increased in the past few years. One of the reasons these couples gave was that girls provide emotional security that boys usually don’t. Girls also continue to act as a supporting figure when parents grow old,” said a spokesperson of the Holy Cross Social Service Centre, Dhirpur.
In India a total of 5,905 adoptions took place last year, according to information available with the Central Adoption Resource Authority.
“In my nine years of marriage I suffered six miscarriages and was desperate for a child. My husband and I decided to adopt four years ago. We adopted a girl child because girls are always more attached to the family,” said a couple who did not wish to be named.
There are several guidelines that are in place for couples wanting to adopt a child.
For instance, no child can be given for adoption to a couple unless they have at least two years of a stable marital relationship. Also, couples in live-in relationships and un-married or single men are not permitted to adopt a girl child.