The adoption scene in the country is somewhat like this: 1,991 children, including 1,322 girls, available for about 20,000 prospective parents.
The highest number of children available for adoption is from Maharashtra at 376 followed by Odisha at 299, according to an RTI reply.
On a query on the number of children available for adoption in 2017-18, it was informed that the figure is 1,991 including 1,322 girls.
Rakesh Srivastava, secretary in the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD), said the main reason for the availability of less number of children is because many of them are with childcare institutions which have not been registered with the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), the apex adoption body in the country.
According to the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System (CARINGS), there is just one child available for every nine adoptive parents in India.
The maximum number of children available for adoption are from the age group of 0-2 years at 417 that included 246 girls, data showed.
In the age group of 2-4 years, 220 children, including 126 girls, are available for adoption. In the age group of 4-6 years, 224 children, including 127 girls are available for adoption.
One hundred and fifty eight children, including 82 girls, in the age group of 6-8 years and 187 kids, including 105 girls, in the age group of 8-10 years are available for adoption.
In the age group of 10-12 years, 260 children, including 169 girls were available for adoption. In the age group of 12-14 years, 302 children, including 206 girls were available for adoption while in the age group of 14-18 years, 397 children, including 261 girls were available for adoption, the data showed.
"At any given point of time, the number of prospective parents are ten times the number of children available for adoption," said Srivastava, underlining that currently there are 20,000 prospective parents.
"And that is the reason there is a two-year waiting period for prospective parents," he added.
The Women and Child Development Ministry has asked the childcare institutions to link up with CARA to bring the children staying in unregistered homes up for adoption within the next one month.
Registration of about 4,000 childcare institutions are still pending, according to a senior WCD official.
The mandatory registration of childcare institutions and linking to CARA have been provided in Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 which came into force more than two years ago. However, some orphanages had challenged the validity of this clause.
The Supreme Court dismissed the petitions and upheld the validity in December. Since then, approximately 2,300 childcare institutions have been linked to CARA.