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Zero Tolerance for Delays in the Adoption Process: Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi

The Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi has said that the adoption agencies have been given a target of 15,000 adoptions in the current year. Speaking at the Annual National Meet on Adoption in New Delhi today, the Minister said that the new Guidelines Governing Adoption of Children -2015 are expected be notified soon. These guidelines will help to speed up the process of adoptions and introduce transparency in the system. The Meet has been organized by Child Adoption Resource Authority. Highlighting the need for speedy adoptions,the Minister said that there will be zero tolerance for all those who delay the process of adoption. Smt. Maneka Gandhi gave directions that the entire process of adoption of a child should not take more than 4 months and the performance of adoption agencies will now be monitored by the Ministry and CARA on a weekly basis.

The Minister said that Adoption Reforms is the top most item on the priority list of the Ministry. It was due to this reason that the new Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2014 was drafted and placed in Parliament since the new Government took charge, she said. She disclosed that the Act, once passed, will strengthen CARA and give more teeth to the implementation machinery. The Minister said that there are over 50,000 orphans in the country who can be adopted and more are being added on a daily basis. She warned that all those agencies which report unavailability of children for adoption will be shut down.

Responding to the problems expressed by the representatives of Specialized Adoption Agencies (SAAs), the Minister said that she will write to the states to install CCTVs in hospitals/maternity homes to prevent illegal adoptions. A media campaign will be launched very soon to generate awareness among the people as well as various other stakeholderson legal adoptions, she said. To speed up the cases related to adoption, she also proposed that CARA should have its own lawyers and there should be a special section to deal with adoption of Special Needs Children in CARA. She further elaborated that as per new adoption guidelines, a child shall be deemed to be declared legally free by police in case the police clearance is not received within 4-6 weeks.

There will be a centralized system of registration at CARINGS (online adoption system) which will be transparent and provide complete and correct information about the children to be adopted. Smt Maneka Gandhi also expressed deep regret at the insensitive and careless attitude of the various institutions and organizations involved in the process of adoption, thereby causing huge delays and harming the interests of innocent children.

The Chairperson of CARA, Smt. Deepak Sandhu and Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Shri Vinay Sheel Oberoi assured that all reforms required for streamlining the system and procedures will be implemented quickly by CARA and the Ministry.

The Minister also launched the new Logo of CARA at the Meet. She gave away Aadhar Cards to the Children from adoption homes. The New system of giving Aadhar Cards to children of adoption homes has been started to give identity to them and also for their future tracking and supervision.

The two day meet will hold interactions with the adoption agencies, the NGOs, State Agencies and other stake holders like Passport office of MEA, Registrar General of India, UIDAI, and Advocates among others to evolve best practices and remove bottlenecks in the process of in-country and inter country adoptions. At present, there are about 403 recognised adoption agencies in the country.

NB/NK/PS

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