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April 22, 2011 / telegraphindia.com
New Delhi, April 22: The Supreme Court has issued notices to the Centre and the government-run Central Adoption Resource Agency (Cara) on a PIL seeking an immediate revamp of the country’s adoption regime.
Six NGOs, including Calcutta’s Society for Indian Children’s Welfare, have filed the petition claiming the adoption process is plagued by corruption, red tape, delays, government interference and Cara’s failure to discharge its obligations.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India S.H. Kapadia issued the notices yesterday.
Adoption statistics from the Cara website show a decline in legal adoptions in the past decade, though the demand for babies has only grown, the NGOs pointed out to bolster their claim that the agency wasn’t functioning properly. Cara also has not finalised adoption guidelines that have been in “draft” form since 2006.
The NGOs have also accused the government of discriminating between private-run bodies, which provide primary care to such children, and state-run shishu grihas as far as grant and renewal of licences are concerned.
While Cara has been indifferent to the functioning of shishu grihas despite repeated complaints of corruption and high mortality rates, allegedly arising out of apathy and gross negligence, private-run organisations and institutions working in the area are subjected to strict, and often meaningless, controls, the PIL said.
Citing another instance of the alleged bias, the NGOs said an inordinate number of abandoned children sent to private agencies by child welfare committees — government panels in districts that decide the fate of homeless children — are disabled, while the shishu grihas “choose” kids who will be placed in their care.
Cara itself has often not filled up the vacancies of its chairperson and secretary on time and failed to file mandatory information reports on several occasions with the Registrar of Societies, the NGOs have said.