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Governance

Pendency falls in the Child Adoption cases

Since the new adoption regulations were made known two months ago, the number of child adoptions still pending has decreased from 905 to 644.

The news

The Juvenile Justice Act’s adoption rules were announced in September of this year.

Adoption Regulations, 2022

  • District Magistrates may now issue adoption orders under the new regulations.
  • The judges used to exercise this authority.
  • The Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System (CARINGS) online platform for adoption has also undergone changes.
  • Prospective adoptive parents can now choose their home State or region in compliance with the new regulations.
  • This is required to make sure that the family and child get along well and share the same sociocultural environment.

Adoption in India

  • The Central Adoption Resource Authority was given authority in 2015 by the then-Minister for Women and Child Development, who did this to centralise the entire adoption system (CARA).
  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development established the CARA in 2015 as an independent, statutory authority.
  • It was given the authority to keep a registry of children and potential adoptive parents in several specialised adoption organisations, as well as to pair them together before adoption.
  • As child care facilities and NGOs could immediately give children for adoption after acquiring a no-objection certificate from CARA, this was intended to address rampant corruption and trafficking.

Concerns

  • It will be necessary to transfer parents, activists, attorneys, and adoption agencies, and the procedure will need to be restarted.
  • If such an order is delayed, a child may frequently be denied entrance to a school because their parents do not yet possess a birth certificate.
  • Parents and attorneys claim that the JJ Act modification has caused confusion in the system and delays because neither judges nor DMs are aware of it.
  • Civil cases that give a child the right to inherit or succeed to a property are not handled by DMs.
  • If these rights are contested when a child turns 18, a court ruling is much more likely to hold up and guarantee the child won’t be denied their rights.

Adoption procedure in India

Adoptions in India are governed by two laws:

  • HAMA, the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act of 1956: For purposes of succession, inheritance, family name maintenance, and funeral rights, it is a law that prioritises the interests of the parents. Later adoption of daughters was included since kanyadaan is seen as a crucial component of dharma in Hindu tradition.
  • 2015 Juvenile Justice Act: It deals with difficulties with children who are in need of care and protection as well as those who are in conflict with the law, and it only offers a brief chapter on adoptions.

For adoptive parents, each law has a different set of requirements.

  • A specialised adoption agency conducts a home study report after applicants for the JJ Act have registered on the CARA portal.
  • A child who has been deemed legally available for adoption is forwarded to the applicant once it determines that the candidate is eligible for adoption.
  • A “dattaka hom” ceremony, an adoption deed, or a court order are all required under HAMA in order to secure irrevocable adoption rights.

Problems with child adoption in India

  • Parent-centrism: The current adoption strategy is mostly focused on the parents, but parents need to make it more child-centered.
  • Most parents in India prefer children between the ages of 0 and 2, since they feel that this is when the parent-child link is created.
  • Institutional problems: There aren’t enough kids up for adoption because there are disproportionately more abandoned kids than kids in institutions.
  • Lineage discrimination: Because they desire their genes, blood, and lineage to be passed down to their children, the majority of Indians have a mistaken perspective of adoption.
  • Red tape: Since the adoption regulations of 2017 and the juvenile justice rules of 2016 were implemented, adopting a child is also a difficult undertaking.
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