The number of adoptions has declined over the years – from a high of 6953 in 2012, the number has steadily declined to less than 4500 in 2015. This decline is not due to lack of parents willing to adopt – the queue of waiting parents is testimony to that. Clearly, the single most issue leading to diminishing numbers is the shortage of adoptable children. Unless and until we understand and address the reason why so few children enter the adoption stream, there is unlikely to be any improvement in the adoption numbers.
This White Paper is not a critique of the adoption system in India. Rather, it responds to a few key questions – why are the adoption numbers in the country so low, where are the children that are eligible for adoption and what can be done to bring them into the adoption stream. This study sets out to demonstrate some of the possibilities, and simultaneously aims at proposing a way forward for suitable and sustained action.