A few years back, I counselled a couple who were keen to adopt a girl child who had a physical challenge. The child had been abandoned at birth in a field, attacked by animals, rescued by locals, and one of her limbs had to be amputated to save her life. She spent many years at an adoption agency and was finally adopted by this warm and loving couple.
Why did she have to go through this trauma? Why did she have to lose a limb? Why didn’t her birth family safely and legally surrender her to an adoption agency in the first place?
Watch any news channel or read any newspaper—you will frequently see news reports about children being abandoned in drains, fields, garbage bins, buses, and so on. Many of these children get severely injured, traumatised, killed, or end up languishing in child shelters instead of reaching a family. Just like the girl child in the above case, why aren’t any of these children being safely surrendered at a specialised adoption agency?
The answer is as simple as it is heartbreaking.
1.3 billion people in our country are unaware of our own laws about how to surrender a child.
Did you know, when a parent or guardian is unable or unwilling to raise their child, The Juvenile Justice Act of India allows the parent or guardian to legally surrender the child over to competent authorities or specialised adoption agencies, without any adverse consequences. These children have a functional path to enter India’s legal adoption process and to help them get adopted into a loving family – if only people knew about it.
For30,000 parents waiting to adopt, there are only 2,000 children in India’s legal adoption pool at any point in time. We need to create massive awareness about the 350+ specialised adoption agencies in our country to prevent child abandonment and infanticide.
Thousands of abandoned children cannot be left out while we build a future for our nation. Common people like you and me can bring about a change, by helping build awareness about how to legally surrender a child when a parent or guardian is not willing to raise the child. My team has started this petition, requesting the Indian news media to include information about how to safely surrender a child at a specialised adoption agency, when reporting on child abandonment.
This simple change has the potential to create massive public awareness and stop child abandonment and infanticide in our country. Please extend your support by signing our petition here.
If you work for a media house, you can also support us by bringing our petition to the notice of your editorial team.
You can help save a little one’s life!