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Economy, Adoption, and India

Samriddhi Mathur
July 16th, 2021 · 5 min read

Months ahead of the Adoption awareness month, I’ve tried to gather some of the questions and information regarding the adoption scenario in India. The phrase ‘Adopt, don’t shop’ managed to make its place in the hearts of the majority of the population, but has it made us more considerate towards human children?


If you ever search the words- Indian economy and population together on the internet- you will find hundreds (if not thousands) of articles that point to the overpopulation factor as one of bolster to our not-so-growing economy. To summarize some of those articles: for the economy to have more capital (money), the number of dependencies should be low and productive beings more. Dependencies are the children below the age of 14 years and cannot work to contribute to the economy. India constitutes 35% of the population as dependencies. Moreover, the issue of overpopulation also directly or indirectly targets and hits the working class the most. It is because the high population of our country results in low per capita income. In fact, when we talk about GDP growth, it does not involve the extremely slow per capita income growth of the country. According to Economics Discussion, “From 1950-51 to 1980-81, India’s national income grew at an average annual rate of 3.6 percent per annum. But per capita income had risen around one percent. It is due to the fact that population growth has increased by 2.5 percent.” The low per capita income then gives rise to many more issues like poverty, food grain shortages, health, etc.

Now, the purpose of this discussion is to try and understand if adoption could be a potential solution to this growing problem? And especially couples who experience infertility, why is adoption not a more popular option? To be honest, this entire topic of this article has been on my mind for years. Literally, ever since I’ve come to know of IVF and surrogacy as other options for reproduction. The first impression is always fascinating because of the tremendous growth we’ve made in the field of medicine and that we can make babies in a small dish. But soon enough it turned into this curiosity, which still very well persists, is why? Why do some people go for these options? Are they easier than adoption? Or does no one even consider adoption first? If they’ve considered it then, what made them not do it and find another way to have a child? I’m not even getting to surrogacy here as that itself has its own set of challenges and legal issues that need to be ironed out separately.

As I started looking out for more information on possible reasons for the low adoption rates (in India compared to other countries like the US) on the internet, I found a lot of articles and information that were only about adoption and the processes outside of India. I could find one facility operated by the government (Central Adoption Resource Authority CARA) which is responsible for all the adoption-related queries/management in India. But what CARA does is that they are the means through which the parents/couples can register themselves and get started with legal filings to get on the list with the other waiting parents. According to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), India has 29.6 million orphaned and abandoned children..

According to, “Adoption rates in India have always been low, but they have been dropping in the past few years: The government’s Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) adoption statistics show that in 2010 there were 5,693 in-country adoptions, while in 2017-2018, there were only 3,276 in-country adoptions. These are disgraceful figures for a population as mammoth as India’s. And currently, there are approximately only 20,000 parents in line waiting to adopt, compared to the 27.5 million couples who are actively trying to conceive but are experiencing infertility, according to the Indian Society of Assisted Reproduction.”

To my surprise, the reasons for low adoptions were so much deeper than I expected them to be. And by deeper I mean the problems are there because of the low/lack of attention of the government to this whole thing. That explains some of the real problems faced by people(in India) who are willing to adopt, according to, “The reasons for low levels of adoption in India are manifold. Firstly, there aren’t enough children available for adoption because the ratio of abandoned children to children in institutionalized care is lopsided. Marthi says that district-level officers are not doing their job seriously enough and government apathy is leading them to function without accountability. “Children on the street is the most common sight in India. The District Child Protection Officer should be taking these children to a child care institution (CCI), and if their parents aren’t found, then they should be placed for adoption,” she says.” Surprisingly, the poor child care services didn’t even occur to me before I started my research on the internet. Most articles up there belong to the conditions and the procedure in the states, and not much for what happens in India.

Other than this, what’s interesting here is that we can still hear a unanimous agreement from a lot of people if I were to say that adopting a child is still pretty close to being called a taboo in our country (let alone the western ones). But, there is also no denying that the awareness among the newer generations is truly inspiring and only continues to increase as we continue to move towards becoming a more inclusive society. The understanding of the need to adopt should be even more as we are more aware of evolution and the fact that things need to change if the needs change. I feel that the long procedures and list of documents required before getting onto the adoption wait-list is one of the most important things and steps before the agency hands over a child. It’s their responsibility to make sure that they aren’t doing that in the wrong hands. It’s also important for future parents as it gives an idea about the responsibilities they’re about to get and how big of a deal it is to take care of a child. It makes you think from the side of children rather than only looking from the eyes of the parents.

Let’s try to look at this more from the evolutionary point of view -

The basic forager brain would tell you to continue reproduction as it was necessary a long time ago for our species to survive. But now, as we’re thriving more than ever, shouldn’t the understanding of the needs of the earth be the priority? Or if I were to stick to the current ongoing capitalization era, shouldn’t this be a concern to all “capitalists or economists” out there? Even with the million articles and understanding out there on the internet, are we able to quiet down the forager part of the brain and become truly- “modern humans?”

Know More-

The brief research on the internet allowed me to understand more about the roots of these issues that are to be resolved before we even begin to dream of becoming a better economy, issues that a huge chunk is unaware of, and still directly is the victim of its effects. It also allowed me to read a lot of success stories from the parents who found their match and decided to share their experiences as well. Check out CARA’s page if interested.

The article is by no means intended to guilt anyone into adoption. It’s meant to treat adoption as a real option, which most people in our country don’t necessarily do. It’s not to be interpreted as anything that’s against procreation as that every species has the innate goal to do so, it’s here to bring many things into some perspective (my perspective, yours can be totally opposite of this). Ask yourself those questions before ruling out anything.

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Author’s Note -

I’ll keep on adding more points and/or arguments as I continue to learn more on this subject, either in this same article or in a new one, kinda like a part two for this. As for now the above mentioned things and views were what I’ve found, read, learned, and interpreted from my extent of research. I’ll be happy to read your opinions and take on this subject as this can vary for different individuals. Sharing your thoughts would be a contribution to this article and to my learning process as I’d get more perspectives on this. You can get in touch through our Instagram handle or drop a text on my personal Instagram mentioned on my author’s page.

Happy Reading xo!

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