An analysis on public perception towards child adoption in Kerala
Savio Francis Fernandez
During the social reform in the 1950’s, India focused on finding home for abandoned, destitute, illegitimate and surrendered children. These children were institutionalized and eventually placed for domestic and inter-country adoption. The domestic adoption in India gained its momentum only in late 1980’s. Since then important changes have happened in the field of adoption. Indian adoption policies are sculpted, by several years of ongoing efforts by social reforms lobbyists and child welfare organizations. This is evident from the laws and policies set forth by the government of India. A more recent policy in the chapter IV of the juvenile Justice Act of 2000 implemented the concept of secular adoption whereby, without any reference to the community or religious persuasions of the parents or the child concerned, a right appears to be granted to all citizens to adopt, and all children to be adopted. While this was a positive change, this concept still did not give the legal and legitimate status to the child equal to that of a biological, legitimate child. Prospective adoptive parents are beginning to understand the legal and social processes of adoption and recognize the need to go through organized child welfare organizations. It is interesting to show that in the last few years, children coming into institutions, either in the form of abandonment or surrendering has decreased considerably. This is cost by family planning and officiating medical termination of pregnancy. Education, globalization and contemporary thoughts have bought about attitudinal changes in broader perspective. Prospective parents with high education and a higher economic status are self-assured to adopt a girl child and they do not perceive a girl child to be a economic burden (Andal Damodaran, personal communication, 21 dec, 2009). On the contrary, the researcher finds that some families in certain region with better economic status still consider raising a girl child as a burden because they do not want to spent money for her marriage, and do not want to deal with teenage love interest. The conservative belief is still present in certain region that a male child could be an investment. This study mainly focuses on the perception of public and society towards adopting a child and its different aspects of adoption in Kerala.