A study has revealed that a total of 3,531 children, including 2,061 girls were adopted in the country during the one-year ending March 31.
According to the data provided by the Child Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), 1,470 boys and 2,061 girls were adopted from April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020.
Hinting at the change in mindset towards adoption preferences, an official said that people are becoming more accepting of the idea of adopting a girl-child.
With 615, Maharashtra has recorded the highest number of adoptions among states followed by Karnataka (272), Tamil Nadu (271), Uttar Pradesh (261), and Odisha (251), revealed the government data.
It further added that 3,120 children were adopted in the age group of 0-5 years while in the age group of 5-18 years as many as 411 children were adopted between April last year and March this year.
"We give them three choices - one can opt for a girl, a boy, or can give no preference (while applying for adopting a child). Many people prefer to adopt a girl child," an official privy to the study said, reported Times Now.
The data also highlighted that 3,110 children were adopted while 421 inter-country adoptions took place in 2019-20.
Activists, however, say more girls are adopted because more of them are available for adoption.
"Even a casual visit to an adoption agency will tell you there are far more girls than boys to select for adoption. So to attribute it to progressive values may be a bit exaggerated or over-simplistic," said Akhila Sivadas, executive director at the Centre for Advocacy and Research, a non-profit organisation.
She said many families have a strong preference for sons and go to the extent of taking recourse to pre-natal sex determination and selection to abort the female foetus, with some even abandoning the girl child. She added that a sense of collective wrong prompts them to redress the situation by adopting girls.
The data takes into consideration the cases of adoption of orphaned, abandoned, and surrendered children and does not include children adopted from relatives or adoption of stepchildren.