Foreign parents can adopt only if nobody available in India


Mumbai, Jan 11 (PTI) The Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) today told the Bombay High Court that it has imposed some new conditions for granting No Objection Certificate (NOC) for international adoption.

According to the new conditions, apart from the declaration by the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) that the child is available for adoption, a certificate will also be required from the state government that there are no waiting parents available for adoption within the country and the case can be considered for inter-country adoption.

CARA had filed its affidavit in response to seven petitions filed by prospective foreign parents, who had applied for adoption through Pune based adoption house Preet Mandir.

The adoption house had come under scrutiny after a sting operation showed that it allegedly sold babies to foreign couples.

Vinod Joshi, counsel for CARA, informed the court that they would clear foreign adoptions only after the new conditions were fulfilled by the parents. "In the case of Preet Mandir, an additional certificate will be required from the state government appointed committee."

In a related development, another bench of the high court allowed Preet Mandir to continue providing facilities to 86 children, who are placed there for adoption.
Following the sting operation, the government had said that it would be relocating the children to other adoption houses.

However, today, the government filed an affidavit saying that concession will be given to Preet Mandir, so that it can continue providing care for the 86 children for the time being.

The High Court however, directed Preet Mandir not to admit any fresh children.


Fresh child production, made in India

It will be interesting to see how adoptions in India will soon operate, although given the popularity of their surrogacy programs, I don't think many foreign baby-selling agencies will suffer with Preet Mandir's order "not to admit any fresh children".

In fact, reports about India seem very confusing.  On the one hand it seems (local?) couples are encouraged to go for adoption, and yet a new regulation bill seems to give India's booming baby industry a nice boost:  

Dr P Balamba, senior gynaecologist, said that as per the guidelines in Assisted Reproductive Technology (regulation) Bill 2010, women up to 35 years and not related to the biological parents are eligible to become surrogates. "But these guidelines are given a go by," says Dr Balamba, adding that there have been instances when even mothers-in-law have turned surrogates.   [From:  'Couples should go for adoptions' ]

So, while the adoption house of cards may seem to have fallen, time will tell if baby-exports, (and the exploitation of the poor in India) will remain strong. 

The more things change the more they stay the same

The line between international surrogacy has been blurring for years now. Adoption agency World Partners Adoption went belly up after being denied Hague accreditation, but executive director Jim Harding found both a new love in former Guatemalan adoption facilitator Carla Giron and started a surrogacy agency, Surrogacy Partners, which operates from Guatemala.

Have cash? Will carry

Oh, let's not pretend adoption and surrogacy agencies are not setting-up shop for those parties interested in a family-plan.  All that is really needed to make child-trade legal is a good lawyer who knows local laws and loopholes.

What's interesting to see is the 'more of the same' disturbing threads/themes that link foreign adoption and surrogacy to those who will go and do just about anything for an infant NOT put in-care.

For instance, according to one article:

Surrogacy in India can cost less than half of what it would in the U.S. PlanetHospital, a medical tourism company based in Calabasas, Calif., offers a package that includes the services of an Indian egg donor for $32,000, excluding transportation and hotel expenses for the intended parents. Rudy Rupak, the company's president, says in the first eight months of this year he sent 600 couples or single parents overseas for surrogacy, triple the number in 2008 and up from just 33 in 2007. Most were from the U.S.        [From:  Heading to India for a Longed-For Child ]

And while another article states it's illegal for a surrogate to be recruited by a hospital, third-party involvement (via social worker for a NGO, for instance) is perfectly fine for baby-providers:

according to embryologist Samit Sekhar. "A year ago, I would have said it was very difficult to recruit a surrogate," says Sekhar. "Now it is becoming much more open. They get a decent amount of money. They get free food, free boarding, and free clothes, and they are housed in a nice place" for 12 months, away from their families.  [From:  American gays all for Indian surrogacy ]

Ah yes, the First Mother's free Birth Package, (as used in the USA).   It's the Give-the-women-some-spending-money, and-a-decent-place-to-live-for-awhile, (but don't pay for the baby, because that would be illegal) Routine.  I believe Bethany proves just how successful one can be and become if he/she chooses to do God's Work.

So... how much can an impoverished woman get for loaning her body out to strangers for 10-12 months?  [Excluding the sex-trade, of course.]

I have read in India, a surrogate (who may experience social censure, forcing her to move away under the pretext of landing a new job) can get paid $8000 for use of her body/sex organs, with the range being between $2,000 to $10,000.    Keep in mind the salary some of these women make doing something like maid-service.  $20 a month.  [The gross national income per person is rated at $441.56 per person. ] Compare this to the rate an American surrogate can get: 

typically, surrogacy agreements in the United States involve payments of $20,000 to $25,000 to the woman who bears the child. She enjoyed the somewhat naughty pleasure of telling strangers who asked about her pregnancy, "Oh, they aren't mine," which invariably invoked the question, "Did you have sex with the father?"  [From:  Surrogate Wombs to Rent ]

Of course, the cost-difference is not the only issue baby-buyers need to consider.  There are health issues: India is an ideal surrogacy destination; Indian women rarely drink or smoke and the country offers "First World medical services at Third World prices".  There are custody issues: both in terms of future custody battles and parental right issues (for homosexuals).  And there can be immigration issues, but with new laws requiring a DNA link to at least one of the commissioning parents, legal loopholes can be avoided.

Still, surrogacy is being promoted as a "good cause", even though lives are put at-risk, the industry in not regulated, and the bodies of human beings are used as commodities.  That's the thing about child-trade.... in order to make good money, there has to be little room for morals and ethics.

A new age for India?

First the reports say domestic adoption will be given a stronger priority.

Next come the reports that tell us an era of transparency has fallen upon the people seeking adoption in India.  Yes, I kid you not, it was reported just last week a website was created so prospective parents can access a list of adoptive children, their health status, their photographs and even the condition in which they were given up for adoption.  Of course, fees will go up, for both domestic and foreign adoptions, but we're supposed to believe this increase in fee (coupled with the new web-service) will help protect adoptable children.

THEN we learn about  the reports telling us bad bad people, like the managing trustee of city-based orphanage Preet Mandir, was treating children as a "commodity" in order to make money, through inter-country adoption.  (I know, I know... I had to read it myself - twice - to make sure I got the information right.  Imagine, "money-spinning organisation" and "tremendous potential to make money" in something as sacred and altruistic as international adoption!)

<sipping coffee so dripping sarcasm will go down faster>  .

Now we learn the value of the female child.  Good gods, what is-a-comin' next?

Winds of change are sweeping through urban India, a country traditionally known for its male preference. Many city-dwellers who don't have children of their own are opting for adoption, particularly of girls .

Such is the enthusiasm that the waiting period to adopt a girl is as much as it is for a boy, unlike in the past when most couples wanted a boy, says a spokesperson of the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), a wing of the ministry of women and child development.

"The mindset of people is changing, especially young people who don't have a gender bias. There are many socio-economic reasons for adopting a child - late marriage, risk of bearing children at an older age, or simply not being able to conceive," said Sandip Kusalkar, public relations coordinator at Snehalaya, an NGO based in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra.

"Here we see young-educated couples from cities opting for a girl child whereas rural couples still prefer boys," he added.

[From:  Adoptions on rise - and many want a girl!, March 12, 2011 ]

I for one can understand the rural need for a male-child.  The logic is simple.  Dad teaches boy how to work, boy learns the ropes, Dad can no longer work (too old, sick, or he's just no longer with the family anymore), son takes over the male's duty to provide for the family.

It's not a bad deal, especially if you have women-folk inside tending to the cooking, the cleaning, the washing, the child care, the elder-care and whatever other matters master man needs done before a new day begins.  In fact, in rural/farming communities, the larger the brood, the better.

I grew-up in a very old-world family, with strict family traditions.. which is a funny A family-feature, given the fact my very strict traditional Amother was anything but traditional when it came to anything that could or would resemble wifely/motherly duties.  In that sense, I lived with a rebel fighting a system that knew how to replace weak non-conformists.

According to my Adad's cave-man ideal, the family-structure would work as such:  The man goes out to work; the woman stays home and serves.  [Yes, no room for any Gloria Steinem-wanna-bes in my a dad's biology.]  If there is the most unfortunate lot in life that only one female was living in the house, she would be replaced key duties would be out-sourced, quickly, through the use of a lady-friend on the side.  (No sense distracting the domestic work-horse for sex when much better rides can be had outside the barn, or soiling the prim and proper lady of the house with unbecoming duties like washing up vomit or late-night breastfeedings.)

Since my Amother was unable to fulfil many of her expected duties, it was my job to do as much 'women's work' as possible, for my dad, his son, and the disabled woman I called Mom.  The only way I could escape that role was through marriage. 

Ah, such joy, having only one other person to care for!  Life was so much easier when I didn't have five extra mouths to feed, and a part-time job outside of a home that always needs something.   

<day dreaming of the good ol simple days when a bath meant hot water, bubbles, and no interruptions>

A while ago I read a very interesting article about the elderly (mothers) in India.  The question asked was, who is going to take care of them?

The boys?

Or the girls? [Turns out, according to the article I was reading, son's who can't provide care rely on nuns to care for the mothers with no living husbands.]

Another on-going concern is, what should be done to the children who neglect/abuse their elderly parents (or elderly extended family members)?

At some point, most of us will witness or encounter that time in a person's life when it must be decided where sick/disabled/elderly mom or dad should go.  I work with a woman who told me no one in her culture would ever do what Americans do to their elderly population --  that is, send them to live (and die) in a nursing home.  Instead, the younger generation does all it can do to afford the type of care an aging and confused parent will need.  This theme of creative care-giving is given a new twist, American-Indian style, as it was written in article, published back in 2009:

Initially, Herzfeld was able to care for his parents in their Florida home. But when his mother had a fall, he realised he needed far more help than he could give them. Putting them in the cheapest acceptable home available would have cost $6,000 (around £3,700) a month, and they did not have that kind of money. More than that, Herzfeld did not want to take this route: he had noticed a marked deterioration in his mother's contentment when she had to spend a few weeks in a home after the fall.

Looking at all possible options, he considered Mexico and India as affordable locations. A host of reasons - including knowing India well and having friends there - made him opt for Puducherry, where the climate is similar to that of Florida and there is a supply of English-speaking care professionals.

But every step of the move had to be planned in detail. The airline agreed to take Frances and Ernest only because a doctor friend flew out with them and took responsibility for them door to door. Another friend organised a house for them and set up the electricity, cable TV, air conditioning, furniture and broadband.

Looking back, Herzfeld says the main thing he would have done differently would have been to hire staff before their arrival: it took him five difficult weeks to find a nurse.

But once staff had been found, he could give his parents a much higher standard of care than would have been possible in the US for his father's income of $2,000 (£1,200) a month. In India that paid for their rent, a team of carers - a cook, a valet for his father, nurses to be with his mother 12 hours a day, six days a week, a physiotherapist and a masseuse - and drugs (costing a fifth of US prices), and also allowed them to put some money away.

[From:  In India, they really like older people, May 31, 2009 ]

One would have to imagine what a country like India would do if there were no paid staff-members around to help care for the dependent  elderly population, or provide the much wanted/desired child, through adoption agencies and India's fertile fertility business.  Yes, without children where would India and it's future economy be?

Forget the fact that women in many parts of the industrial world are finally seen and respected in a market-place that goes beyond food and sex.  Could it be even in India a woman can earn enough money to provide enough for herself, AND and extra mouth to feed?

Oh let's stop this crazy talk, immediately!

Let's focus on what's proven to work for the good of all man-kind.  Maybe smart-desperate future sons, (with a good eye for profit-making and savings), can develop a new adoption scheme, simply by converting a few existing children's orphanages and turning them into adult in-care facilities.

Such a program could put a new twist, to an old working theme seen between orphanages and adoption agencies, as written here:

living conditions found in an orphanage is a very important point because often times, the appearance of an environment provides the visual cue that gets people motivated to save a child through adoption.  After all, how many would feel compelled to save a poor orphan child from an orphanage if the housing and care was good and the environment was actually pleasant?  How many would still believe removing a child from friends and the country of origin is best, if that child is happy and well-cared for in a relatively small group-home?  How many really believe adoption is the only way in which a child without parents/family can receive good care? 

[From:  "Proper housing for children -- where can it be found?" ]

After all, there's money to be found in health-care services, and what person wouldn't just love to adopt a poor frail little thing languishing in-care?  I hear caring for the elderly is very much like caring for a very young child, still in diapers.  Some of the really confused ones are really cute when they start pretending to be pregnant or fold and unfold baby-doll clothes, or decide everything tastes better when it's pureed and dipped in thickened coffee, with sugar.  Sure the males like to play with loose body parts found in their diapers, but the males don't last long... they're more desirable than females, right?  The trick is finding a way to convince the adopting public adopting an old person is good... as good, if not better than adopting an older child with all sorts of emotional attachment problems and very few employable skills.


Hey, how about advertising tax breaks and monthly subsidy fees given to those who follow the Christian call to care for the widows adopt?!  The more "special needs" the bigger the monthly check... why the earning possibilities are endless... provided the elder-adoptee doesn't die right away.

Surely a plan like that would solve all the child/elderly abuse/neglect problems we see all over America and India, and virtually everywhere in-between.

Ooops, my sarcasm slipped-out again.  Time to swallow.

Ah, if only the female was valued for her mind and heart, and not just her sex organs and baby-making (male-producing) abilities. 

Gender bias  -- it's such a wonderful thing.  It's too bad so many organized religions are full of so many glorified female-bashers... this world could have turned out to be a decent place for men, women, and children.

Pound Pup Legacy