Adoption in India is a challenge. The pandemic made it a nightmare - ALL Jobs News

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Thursday, 17 September 2020

Adoption in India is a challenge. The pandemic made it a nightmare

It was February 1 when Neena John (name changed on request) and her husband received the good news they had been desperately waiting for. Nearly three years after they had registered as prospective parents to adopt a child, they had finally been matched with a five-month-old baby girl.

The child was at an orphanage in Bidar, Karnataka, while John and her husband lived in Muscat, Oman, with their 7-year-old daughter.

Under ordinary circumstances, the couple would have been able to fly to India, complete the adoption paperwork and fly back to Muscat with their new daughter within the span of a few weeks.

But the Covid-19 pandemic got in the way of a smooth adoption.

John and her family have been stuck in a hotel room in Chennai for the past six months, unable to formally complete the adoption and take their baby home. Their story of anxiety, frustration and helplessness is reflective of the many ways in which Covid-19 and the nationwide lockdown have affected adoptions across India.

Every year, around 4,000 children are formally adopted from adoption agencies across India, regulated by the Central Adoption Resource Authority or CARA – the central government’s nodal agency for adoptions. The number of registered prospective parents is much larger – between...

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