When Suresh Shinde and his wife of 10 years decided to go for adoption because they didn’t have any biological children, they knew they wanted a girl.
“We had to wait longer, almost six months, because there were no baby girls left at the adoption centre but we both wanted a daughter,” said 40-year-old Shinde, who is an engineer.
Now Shinde spends every free moment playing with his daughter Riya, who turned one on January 24. Wife Kirti (36) has even give up her job at an advertising agency to take care of the naughty Riya, who loves to eat or break everything she gets her hands on.
The Shindes have no desire for a boy to carry on their family name. They are hardly alone.
Majority of the city-based couples go for a girl at the time of adoption, according to the Adoption Coordinating Agency.
In fact, the waiting list to adopt girls is longer than the list for boys at most adoption agencies. “It takes much longer to get a baby girl because more families specifically ask for girls,” said Jaissita Panigrahi, who runs Bal Vikas at Malad. “These days we have to tell families to take boys.”
At Children of World (India) Trust’s adoption agency in Nerul, over 75 percent of the requests are for girls. “Only 25 percent are flexible or want a boy,” said executive director of the trust Mani Mistry.
Bal Asha’s administrator Sunil Arora said it was because people are more educated now. “Educated couples don’t discriminate between girls and boys. There are more joint income families now where both men and women earn. So, its not like a boy is needed to carry on the family business,” he said.
(Names of parents have been changed to protect identity)