As the number of deaths started to mount in the course of a raging second wave of the pandemic, more posts seeking adoption for COVID orphans – children who have lost both parents to the dreaded virus – have been on the rise. But adoption should take place following legal procedures through the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), warn experts. Under the current guidelines, a single woman can adopt a child of any gender, a single man can only adopt a male child and a couple has to show two years of marital relationship before being considered for adoption.
With the rise in the number of COVID orphans, human rights activist Harish Iyer has started a petition, asking the government to allow unmarried people, live-in couples of all genders and sexes, and LGBTQIA+ people to adopt these children.
He says that while doing the due diligence to verify each adopter is still required, it is high time that the Indian society overcomes its biases against the LGBTQIA+ community. The petition also stressed that finding safe homes for these children should be prioritized.
(Interviewed and produced by Sherina Poyyail; video edited by Nang Tanvi)