New Delhi, Jan 14 (PTI) About 70 per cent of single women above 40 years of age wanting to adopt a child have benefited in the last six months after the government put them on a priority list for adoption, according to an official.

A committee set up under the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) had decided to give single women, who are above 40 years and financially stable, ante date seniority of six months once they register for adoption.

Prospective parents have to wait for at least up to a year to get the child of their preference. The government’s decision to give single women above 40 years a seniority of six months, therefore, effectively reduces the waiting period for them by half.

There were a total 817 single women registered with the nodal adoption body, Child Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), last year. Of these, 457 were above 40 years, according to an RTI response sought by PTI.

Since the government announced its decision in July last year to help single women to adopt, 314 single women above 40 years have been able to bring home a child, WCD Secretary Rakesh Shrivastava said.

It is feared that the preference for single women could be detrimental for other parents and result in longer waiting period for them.

In order to address those concerns, CEO CARA Lt Col Deepak Kumar said they will be reviewing the process in March.

There are approximately 18,000 parents registered with CARA, while the number of children in the government’s adoption pool is less than 1,800.

“We saw a large number of single women in the last few months because we had a huge backlog of them. In another three months we will be able to assess better if this scheme is proving disadvantageous to other sets of parents or not and take corrective measures,” Kumar said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.