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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

4 alternatives to banning of current inter-country adoptions

Recently Supreme Court of India had asked the Government of India why inter-country adoptions cannot be banned in response to a petition filed by an NGO.  Obviously, the petitioner had seen somethings that he/ she feels that only banning inter-country adoption is a viable solution, or is it??

Undoubtedly, major irritant to question the integrity of inter-country adoption is money.  Let's look at it.  For domestic adoptions, government stipulated price is itemized and it amounts to approximately Rs. 40,000/- (approximately 800 US dollars) where as for inter-country adoption, price is a flat fee (not itemized as in the case of domestic adoptions) and it is 5000 US dollars (more than six times).

Imagine this scenario: There are two people (one from India and the other from the United States) standing to receive a child from an adoption agency and the Indian is holding 800 dollars and the US person 5000 dollars.  Does it take for the rocket scientist to figure out which way adoption agency will tilt?  Only the government can explain here as to why the fee is itemized for domestic adoptions vs non-itemized for inter-country and what is the rationale for six fold increase over the domestic prices?

There are various reasons why Indians don't adopt special needs children (Read: 5 reasons why Indian are not open to adopting special needs children) and good number of them (special needs children) find homes in the western countries.  So banning inter-country adoptions, is it the right thing to do?  Well...there are other solutions or alternatives that can be explored.  They are as follows:

  1. Correct the price anomaly:  Remove the price discrepancy to not to make one family more attractive than the other and make the prices itemized for both sides.
  2. Transactions through state:  Right now, the money transactions takes place between the agencies.  Possibility of transactions taking place through the state and state funding the agencies can be explored.
  3. State doing inter-country adoptions:  Completely remove the private adoption agencies from doing inter-country adoptions and state should consider doing them altogether
  4. Promoting special needs adoptions domestically:  We need more domestic families that can come forward to take in special needs children.  For this, state should provide needed medical treatment and purchase a portable health insurance policy (at least five years long) that goes with the child whenever he/ she gets adopted.
I am sure these cannot be the only solutions that can be thought of but more we think, more innovative we can get in solving this menace.  Banning inter-country adoptions because it is mired in problems sounds like plucking one's eye because they have a severe problem with their vision.  

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