Odisha News Insight

Maneka Gandhi calls for strict action for Illegal Adoptions

Maneka GandhiThe Union Minister of Women & Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi has asked the States to take stringent action against those Child Care Institutions which are not abiding by the rules, take penal action against them under illegal detention of children or illegal confinement of children and transfer the children in these Institutions to nearby Specialised Adoption Agencies. She was addressing the representatives of Women and Child Development Departments from the states at the ‘National Familiarization Programme for States/UTs on New Adoption Guidelines’ in New Delhi today.

“Though the current Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 does not propose any penal provision for violation of non-registration of child care institutions, we may proactively identify such institutions and by clubbing the section of JJ Act prescribing mandatory registration (Section 34) and sections of IPC of illegal detention in unauthorized premises, a criminal case can be initiated against such agencies for illegal detainment or confinement of children. Your proactive stringent action against few such unauthorized agencies in your States will force all to comply”, the Minister said.

Commenting on the reported rampant illegal adoption/child transfer from hospitals/maternity homes, IVF Centres, the Minister said such informal adoptions compromise the rights and safety of the children. However, this practice can be curbed by making them partners in our endeavour, the Minister explained.

Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi expressed regret that during the last three years, the number of adoptions has remained between 4000 – 5000, which is inexplicably low in comparison to the magnitude of children without parental care. It is shocking that there are less than 800 normal and almost equal number of special need adoptable children in 411 recognized adoption agencies in the country as on date, while there are almost 9000 parents registered to adopt a child, Smt Maneka Gandhi added.

The Minister said that the new guidelines have become operational and upgraded CARINGS has been launched to bring transparency into the adoption system, curb illegal adoption, malpractices, underhand unethical dealing by agencies and aimed to greatly increase the number of adoptions at least to 20000 by next year. However, for the new system to work effectively and show results, it is important to register all the Child Care Institutions, set up SAAs in each district, build the capacity of District Child Protection Units (DCPUs) and connect them to CARA, connect all SAAs mandatorily through internet to bring them online and states should proactively undertake multi-media campaigns to check illegal adoption and promote legal adoption.

Opening the workshop, the Chairperson of CARA, Smt Stuti Kacker urged the states to strengthen delivery systems, check informal adoptions, register all Child Care Institutions and take all measures to find suitable families for the children in CCIs.

Secretary, WCD, Shri v. Somasundaran said that the Ministry will undertake a two-month long campaign from September to map unregistered child care homes. Similarly, four regional workshops will be undertaken on adoption issues and new guidelines for full familiarisation of the state governments and various other stakeholders.

Senior officers of the Ministry of Women and Child Development and CARA as well as representatives of state governments attended the familiarisation programme.

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