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Now we have a new legislation called "Juvenile & Justice Act, 2015" replacing the JJ Act of 2000. In this new act, adoption has assumed a significant importance with an exclusive chapter. Subscribe and follow this blog for more information in the days to come.

Monday, May 12, 2008

My thoughts on the first major principle of adoption…..

In the newly released CARA draft guidelines, they state three major principles upon which the adoption rests. The first principle states the following: International adoption may only be considered if all efforts to place a child in domestic adoption or other forms of family based placement alternatives such as placement with relatives (kinship care), sponsorship and foster care arrangements have been exhausted.

Above principle reinforces the enormous effort that is undertaken to become compliant with multiple domestic legislations, Supreme Court directives and International treaties. In the process of becoming compliant, it appears that there may have been loss of focus of what is important.

What I am setting to put forth is this: Is adoption and family based placement alternatives (such as kinship care, sponsorship and foster care) are the same or equal? In adoption, a child has a loving home with rightful parents, where as in family based placement alternatives, child does have loving home but no rightful parents but guardians. Doesn’t a child need a loving home and rightful set of parents for the overall well being of a child?

If government of India is progressive enough to amend the JJ Act in 2006 to ensure a loving family and rightful parents which was denied under the Guardianship and Wards Act (to Christians, Muslims, Jews and Parsis), why do they consider the same (guardianship) as priority under the guise of ‘family based placement alternatives’?

So then how should it be addressed? The third major principle of adoption states that looking after the child’s best interests is the primary responsibility and there’s nothing better than for a child to have a loving home and a set of rightful parents. Child needs both - a family and parents. Domestic adoptions must be promoted with creativity, sincerity and work in partnerships but when that fails, inter-country adoption is the best option. Only after these two options are exhausted, family based placement alternatives must be considered.

If I have a way, I would rephrase the first major principle of adoption as follows: International adoption may only be considered if all (creative and sincere) efforts to place a child in domestic adoption are exhausted and after all the efforts to place a child in adoption (through domestic or inter-country) are exhausted, family based placement alternatives, will be undertaken.

If you agree with this argument, please send your comments to Dr. Loveleen Kacker, Joint Secretary of Child Welfare of Ministry of Women and Child Development to change the phrasing of the first major principle by writing to this following email address: jscw.wcd@sb.nic.in

Ruby

2 comments:

Lynn said...

I don't think that the guidelines suggest that adoption and family based placement alternatives as same / equal.

Ruby said...

Lynn, I didn't say that the government is saying that but posed a question based on their logic if the governmetn thinks that they are the same. I posed that question because they have considered foster above inter-country adoption which I think is not in the best interest of the child. If the child is unrelated, exhausting the foster care option above adoption is being disingenous to the child's interests.