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.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Got much better idea now about adoption law in India

This entire training (Certificate course on Child Rights and Protection) time I have been searching and finding information about the laws on adoption in India. I am glad that I chose to attend this training and I have much better idea now than before.

To begin with, all the adoption laws that one has to follow in India for now are in Juvenile and Justice Act, 2006 (JJA) created by the Parliament of India. We still have GAWA (Guardianship and Wards Act) and HAMA (Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act) in the books and they are still used when necessary (in times of inter-country adoptions) and if one chooses to do under those laws.

JJA is very clear and precise as to how the adoption ought to be done in terms of a child that is been relinquished or abandoned. Before I say anything, I want you to understand one term called “Child Welfare Committee” or CWC. CWC is a statutory body created in JJA with the powers of bench of magistrates with powers of a metropolitan magistrate or a judicial magistrate. It has five members and minimum of one person ought to be a woman. They must be set up in every district.

In case of relinquished child, they can only be relinquished in front of a CWC. After all the attempts been made by the CWC to convince the family not to relinquish the child (such as counseling, monitory assistance through foster care and sponsorship), if the family insists on relinquishing, they may do so on non-judicial stamp paper. Family shall have 60 days to reconsider this decision to claim the child back. At the expiration of 60 days, CWC issues a document declaring the child free for adoption.

If your adoption agency tells you that the child that you’re about to adopt is a relinquished child, then you know now what kind of documents to ask for? You must ask for relinquishment document signed by the family, CWC and document declaring the child free for adoption etc.

In case of an abandoned child, whoever rescues the child has to take the child to the police station and file a report. Within 24 hours, the child has to be presented before the CWC who will issue a temporary custody to the nearest adoption agency. Adoption agency has to publicize in the newspapers for any family to claim the child if they have lost their child and wait for three months. While waiting, probation officer will also do an inquiry and submits his/ her report to the CWC in 30 days. After 90 days of waiting, child will be brought back to the CWC to receive the free for adoption document after which the agency will find a suitable family to adopt the child.

If your adoption agency tell you that you’re about to adopt a child that’s been abandoned, you know now what documents to ask for? You must ask for police report, media clippings, probation officer report, and CWC document etc.

I write this column to empower the prospective adoptive families to be informed so please demand for these documents from the adoption agency to improve transparency and moreover save you heartache of the future. In inter-country adoptions, the process is no different except that they adopt the child under GAWA and finalize their adoption in the country of their residence.

1 comment:

Lakshmy said...

This is truly enlightening.Finally we have an adoption act that is equally applicable to all Indians. Thanks for the post Ruby!