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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.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

CWC and its connection to adoption

What is Child Welfare Committee (CWC) in India and how is it related to adoptions in/ from India? This is a question rarely asked by it is the most important answer that every prospective adoptive family (in or inter-country) should be aware of.

Answer: CWC is a statutory body created by the act of Parliament of India (under Juvenile and Justice Act or JJ Act) with first class magistrate powers to cater to the children that are in need of care and protection.

CWC consists of 5 members from the civil society in every district (seat of a county) and there are more than 600 districts in India. The respective state government appoints CWC members to each district. Out of the five members, one is designated as a Chairman and the remaining four as member. There must be a woman member. They are to meet three times a week and they get honorarium from the state government.

Every aspect of child being brought into the adoption (through surrender or abandonment) stream is handled by the CWC. In case of abandonment, child must be produced in front of CWC with in 24 hours of finding the child and in case of surrender; it must be done in front of the CWC (consists of a woman member). In either case, CWC issues an order for the further action.

Prospective adoptive parents (PAP) must ensure that they look at CWC orders before they accept the child. Unfortunately, as the JJ Act being a new legislation, many states have not yet completed forming CWC’s in each district and those states that have formed, not yet completed in all the districts. So in many places, they still follow the old method of doing it so don’t be surprised if the agency cannot produce the necessary document from CWC.

Being aware of such a provision is immensely useful to PAP’s. CWC’s do not have the jurisdiction over the adoption agencies for any kind of abuse other than the abuse pertaining to care and protection of a child in the agency. Any complaints against an adoption agency must be brought to the attention of Adoption Coordination Agency (ACA) of respective states.

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