Do you know this?

There are approximately 18000 parents registered with CARA, while the number of children in the Government's adoption pool is less 1800.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Slide # 5

Adjust the price disparities

Imagine this: You have been thinking of buying something for quite sometime and you had saved adequate (that’s what you thought) enough and went. When you reached, you realized that there’s a person who wants to pay more (almost six times) and you can do nothing about it. How do you feel?

That’s not it, when you asked; you were being told that they are well within the bounds of the law. Yes, you guessed it. It is CARA that has set the price guidelines that blatantly discriminates it’s own citizens (Indians) against people with currency of higher purchasing power.

Allow me to explain this:
  • Please be advised that every time I refer to a foreign country, I am referring to the United States of America because US is the largest recipient of Indian children through adoption.

  • Maximum adoption costs allowed for domestic adoption by CARA is: Rs. 25, 200/- (Rs. 15, 000/- for maintenance fee, Rs. 9, 000/- for medical reimbursement, Rs. 1,000/- for home study and Rs. 200/- for registration).

  • Maximum adoption costs allowed for inter-country adoption by CARA is 3500 dollars or 1.4 lakhs rupees (almost six times higher)

Now I want to show you the purchasing power of two different individuals. Take a look at this table.

  • Indian per capita income is Rs. 20, 734/- and his maximum adoption cost allowed by CARA is Rs. 25,200/- that is 121% of his annual gross income.
  • American per capita income is $ 42,000/- and their maximum adoption costs allowed by CARA is $ 3,500/- which is 8.33% of their annual gross income.
  • If we swap the above given percentages of annual gross income between Indian and American per capita incomes, American will have to pay approximately $ 90,000/- where as Indian will have to pay Rs. 1,700/-.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Indian citizen is getting a raw deal from both ends. First he is asked to pay something he cannot afford (121% of his annual gross income) and then make the way for foreigners very easy to adopt from India (8.33% of their annual gross income). Indians are made to compete against the foreigners who have currencies that have disproportionate purchasing power.

Someone needs to explain to the following questions:

  • When the child that is to be adopted remains the same, (whether domestic adoption or inter-country adoption) his/ her care remains the same. Why does it cost six times more to adopt for a foreigner?
  • Doesn’t this fee structure violates the spirit of UN convention of the rights of the child that mandates all the signatories (India is a signatory) promote domestic adoption as a priority and inter-country adoption only as an alternative?
  • When Indian costs are itemized (like maintenance, medical reimbursement, home study and registration), why isn’t it done the same way for foreigners with appropriate classifications?
  • Doesn’t this fee structure make the different prospective adoptive parents present in different light in the eyes of the adoption providers/ agencies?

If I have it my way, this is how it (price guideline) will be restructured:

  • Maximum adoption costs cannot cost any more than the per capita income of India for domestic and inter-country adoptions. Preferably lower than the per capita income.
  • For both categories, costs will be itemized and no flat fee.
  • Inter-country adoptive parents will pay in their own currency equivalent of costs incurred in Indian rupees.

There’s an argument that such a price guideline will make the way lot easier for foreigners but remember Indian adoption agencies are mandated to find homes first in India before they are placed abroad and moreover when the money reimbursed remains the same from both categories, there’s no incentive to work harder on one than the other.

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below.

Ruby Nakka

1 comment:

Lynn said...

AMEN to that, Ruby