Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Single women over 40 will now be preferred candidates for adopting children

It's been nearly 20 years since Sushmita Sen brought home Renee, her first adopted daughter. That was a revolutionary move for a single woman in the India of that time. Even though Sen was a successful, powerful and influential woman, her journey of becoming an adoptive mother was not easy. She met many legal hurdles owing to her single status.

Things have changed remarkably since then. Women have become increasingly independent, and the number of single, self-sufficient women in our country is on the rise. Many of the stereotypes and biases against single women are also fast changing and as a result, unmarried women of marriageable age are finally gaining the respect they deserve, and are being integrated into the society.

That said, there are still many challenges that they have to face, and one of them is adopting a child. While it is true that having a supportive spouse can make it easier to raise a child, it is not necessary to be coupled up in order to be a parent. There are many single parents all across the world and many of them through adoption. Sometimes, marriage doesn't happen for somebody, or doesn't last, but that does not mean that they should be deprived of their desire to be a parent. But, single women in our country have not had it easy when it comes to adopting a child.

This is about to change with the new proposal by Maneka Gandhi, minister at the Women and Child Development Ministry. An official at WCD told a leading newspaper, "The move was proposed by WCD Minister Maneka Gandhi after considering the many representations she got from such women. Adoption requests are processed by keeping the child's best interests in mind and if a financially independent woman, with a stable income wants to adopt a child, it very well falls within this criteria."

Along with stating that financially stable, single women over 40 will now be the preferred candidates for adoption, further rules about age brackets have also been given. Now, both men and women up to 45 years of age can adopt a child who is under 4 years old. Those aged between 45 and 50 can adopt a child aged between 5 and 8. Those who are 55 and under can adopt a child between 9 and 18 years. Post the age of 55, adoption is not allowed.

(Source: Idiva)

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