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

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My prediction for the future of adoptions in/ from India – Part II

With the legislative and financial support rendered to promote non-institutional care of children under the Juvenile and Justice Act (JJ Act), 2006, with adoption being given the priority only after the biological parents, adoption scene is about to change significantly in India in the years ahead.

Enormous checks and balances are being built at different levels in to the adoption process with the cooperation of civil society. Under the JJ Act, ‘Child Welfare Committees’ and courts, under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme there are going to be State Adoption Resource Authority or ‘SARA’ (similar to CARA at the state level) and adoption coordination agency or ‘ACA’ which is accountable to SARA and then at the district (similar to country in the US) level there are going to be people monitoring non-institutional care of children and reporting to SARA which in turn report to the central level.

If and when the state signs the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the central government and receives the needed funding for implementation, I predict the following changes will take place in the horizon of three to five years.

(a) Lot more children will enter the adoption stream

(b) There will be a rationalization of children’s homes (read ‘orphanages’) as more and more children in these homes either will be sent home with a ‘sponsorship’ scheme to provide for the child’s needs or ‘foster care’ if the adoption doesn’t work out.

(c) Number of domestic adoptions will increase substantially and will be placed in adoptions near to their communities (If possible, within their district or county).

(d) Number of inter-country adoptions will either remain the same or decrease but the quality of children given for inter-country adoption will change significantly. More children will be of ‘Special needs’ category (including older children).

(e) CARA will agree to do inter-country adoptions under the JJ Act compared to the current practice of doing under the Guardianship Act.

(f) There will be rationalization of cost of adoption.

But these changes cannot be achieved (in spite of federal funding) without the state agreeing to implement it. So the civil society must demand the states to implement the integrated child protection scheme whereby these changes can be achieved quickly. Next, as soon as the state implements integrated Child Protection Scheme, make sure to hold the empowered civil society accountable to the standards that set forth in the scheme.



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