Legal Adoption During the 2021 Pandemic
The increased pandemic scenario of the country has brought another silent crisis; The illegal adoption of children. The second wave has lead to increased fatalities. A lot of children has lost their parents due to the virus and was left as orphans. There were wider requests through social media for adopting the orphan. A few Non Governmental organisation have come forward for lending help to those children. This in turn also create chances for illegal trades and trafficking of children for huge money.
People may offer children instant adoption by cooking up stories on how the child lost parents due to the virus. These people targets innocent people who may fall into the trap, unknowing such adoptions are illegal. Thus the lack of awareness among people on adoption and the pandemic opens opportunity for deplorable business trades.
What should you do, if you witness an orphan/abandoned child?
Who to inform, if you found illegal trafficking and trade using children?
This blog gives you three simple options for reporting such cases to the concerned authority…
Option #1- Call 1098
- 1098 connects you to Childline which is a nodal agency working towards the care and protection of children.
- Childline has emergency phone outreach service open all over the nation.
- Once you contacted the Childline, the officials of the agency would show up and would recover the child.
Option #2- Intimate District Protection Officer.
- The second option is to intimate the protection officer of your district.
- The information and contact details of the district protection officer could be found on National Trafficking System for Missing and Vulnerable Children.
- The portal is maintained by the Women and Child Development Department.
Option #3- Approach the Nearest Police Station.
- The third alternative is to approach the nearest police station.
- The police station has a child welfare police officer who is specially trained to handle the child victims or juveniles.
- You could also access the service of the nearest welfare police officer by dialling the toll-free number 122
#Remember: Non-reporting of such cases are punishable under the Juvenile Justice (Care and protection of Children) Act, 2015
Where will the child goes once they are recovered?
- Once the child (orphan) is recovered by an agency, the agency has the responsibility to produce the child in front of the Child Welfare Committee. (CWC) within 24 hours.
- The Child Welfare Committee conducts the inquiry and decides whether to send the child to children home or a fit person or a fit facility.
- If the child you saved is below the age of six, the CWC will place the child in an adoption agency that is legal and are registered.
- The adoption agency looks after the child till he/she attains 18 years.
- If the CWC declare a child as legally free for adoption, adoption could be done by adoptive parents of Indian origin, Non- Residents Indian or Foreigners.
What are the Procedures for Adopting a Child?
- The regulation, control and monitoring of all inter and intra country adoptions are done by Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA).
- The parents who are willing to adopt the child must register on Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System (CARINGS).
- Once they register, they receive an application number through which the progress could be checked.
- The adoptive parents then have to choose a nearby adoption agency for the home study report.
- The home study report is prepared by a social worker, who visit the registered adoptive parents home, analyze the state of habitual residence. The social worker also counsels the adoptive parents during the home study.
- The social worker will write a report and share it with the adoptive parents, within 30 days of registration.
- The Home Study Report will be posted in the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System by the Specialised Adoption Agency as soon as it is complete.
- The adoptive parents will be declared eligible and suitable by the Specialised Adoption Agency based upon the Home Study Report.
- Now the adoptive parents have to wait till there is an availability of child.
- Based on seniority, the adoptive parents will be referred online profile of three children which will include the photographs, Child Study Report and Medical Examination Report.
- After viewing the profile of the child or children, the adoptive parents could reserve one child within forty-eight hours for possible adoption.
- The Specialised Adoption Agency will organise a meeting of the adoptive parents with the child. Later the adoptive parents will be counselled by the adoption agency.
- The adoptive parents accept the child and sign the Child Study Report and Medical Examination Report in front of the social worker of the adoption agency.
- The registration of adoptive parents shall continue till child adoption, with revalidation of the Home Study Report every three years.
- Then the Specialised Adoption Agency will apply to the court concerned with necessary documents to get sanctioned for adoption.
As per UNICEF, India has around 30 million orphans and abandoned children. The death of parents due to the Covid-19 virus will increment this figure. Few people may find this as an opportunity for human trafficking and trading. As an active citizen of India, we should be aware of this situation and should report to the concerned authority if such issues are found.
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