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Thanks to foreign parents, 60% of children adopted in India are girls

More girls from India are adopted by foreign parents than boys, data presented in Lok Sabha show

Chaitanya Mallapur | IndiaSpend 

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More have been adopted in India than boys over the last four years, according to this reply to the (lower house of Parliament) on December 22, 2017.

As many as 60% of 12,273 children adopted over four years to 2017-18 were girls, the data show.

Adoptions nationwide declined 20% from 3,988 in 2014-15 to 3,120 in 2016-17, probably because of tightened procedures.

Source: Lok Sabha *As of December 20, 2017


While India has 50,000 adoptable orphans, only 1,600 were up for adoption, IndiaSpend reported on March 5, 2016.

The reasons attributed were that half of these children either have a medical problem or are more than two years old–undesirable traits for prospective Indian parents.

This is not the view of many foreigners, a factor the women and child development ministry acknowledged by ensuring older and handicapped children move to inter-country centres after a minimum time of 15 days for a special needs child and 30 days for a child over five years.

Indian children most adopted in US, Italy

As many as 2,134 Indian children were adopted by parents from five countries across the world over the last four years. Of these, 69% (1,481) were


Source: Lok Sabha *As of December 20, 2017

Americans adopted 36% (776) of all Indian children, more than any other country–of which 73% (566) were girls–followed by Italy 22% (463) and Spain 12% (247).

More from India are adopted by foreign parents than boys, the data show.

Maharashtra, with 549 adoptions, was the leading choice for inter-country followed by Delhi (205).

In terms of in-country adoption, Maharashtra reported the most (23%, 2,771) adoptions over four years, of which 1,543 were and 1,228 were boys. Maharashtra was followed by Karnataka (9%, 1,140) and West Bengal (6%, 786).

(Mallapur is an analyst with IndiaSpend.)

Reprinted with permission from, a data-driven, public-interest journalism non-profit organisation.

First Published: Tue, January 16 2018. 12:08 IST