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.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Giving a charitable donation to an adoption agency.

Recently I talked to someone who has a more understanding of CARA price guidelines than I do. When I asked the question as to why there is such a price disparity to adopt a child when the child to be placed in a home and the care provided to the child remains the same between an Indian family and an Inter-country family, the answer given took me by a surprise.

I was told that the price for the inter-country adoptions is kept high to help the adoption agencies to fund care for the children that don’t find homes through adoption for one reason or the other. Also I was told that many Indians do not like to give in charitable giving to adoption agencies.

If you’re unfamiliar with the price disparity that I am talking about, here it is: Maximum adoption expenses to adopt a child in India is Rs. 25,200/- ($630/-) and the same child to be placed in inter-country adoption the expense is a flat fee of $3500/- (5.5 times more). It doesn’t take a lot to figure out that the playing field is skewed in favor of inter-country adoptions.

Here is a question that I would like to pose to CARA: What formula was used to derive at the amount of $3500 to care for how many children? If it cannot be justified with reasonable logic, there’s a danger of hurting the nationalistic pride of India for turning the Indian children into commodities. Current justification also seems to implicitly assume that we can’t possibly raise the needed resources on our own and someone else has to pay.

Speaking of charitable giving, according to “Sampradaan” – Indian philanthropic organization, more than 90% of Indians give to charities of one kind or another. As far as the money is concerned, I can only say that in less than a year a new industry is created worth billions of dollars called “Indian Premiere League” and tens of hundreds of Indians have become millionaires over night. Receiving a charitable donation is not a given for anyone but one has to earn the respect of others money. According to ‘American Fundraising Professionals’ only way to earn such a respect is through building organization’s credibility, accountability and transparency. In other words, inadvertently CARA may be promoting a culture of compromising of these very important qualities in Indian adoption agencies.

If I have a way to adjust this price disparity, this is how it will be done: Maintenance cost, medical reimbursement, will be same for any adoptive family (in-country or inter-country) and every other expense (passport fee, visa fee, lawyer’s fee, and courier charges etc) will be itemized. Capacity building measures to promote accountability and transparency must be undertaken on a war footing and then they must be left to the test of market dynamics to either perform or perish. After all, we don’t need an adoption agency that refuses to perform because the individuals that they choose to serve neither can defend nor speak.



Gershom said... check it out.

I've seen on many more than a few occasions the agencies pocketing the "donations" for the directors.

Alka said...

Hello Ruby,

You are so very right in whatever you have said. On one hand people are promoting adoption and on the other hand there are huge costs involved which restricts so many couples from going through legal channels for adoption. I wish and pray that these things are taken care of thus making things easy for the adoptive parents as well as the children.