Med college flouted adoption rules: Govt

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April 30, 2011/ Times of India
CHENNAI: Christian Medical College, Vellore has been arranging for adoption of 20 children abandoned at their hospital without following the rules prescribed by the law, say officials at Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and department of social welfare.

The officials said they have seized documents that show that many babies abandoned by parents at the hosiptal in the last ten years were kept in a child-care home without proper documents. Two of them were illegally adopted by the staff, they said.

The Juvenile Justice Act makes it mandatory for hospitals to inform the CWC members or the district social welfare officer about babies abandoned in the hospital. These agencies then initiate the process for adoption. Last week, CMC authorities who have shifted some abandoned babies to the Missionaries of Charity, Sishu Bhavan in Vellore -- approached a local court seeking an adoption license. The court said that the hospital could get approval only after seeking approval from the Central Adoption Resources Authority (CARA).

On Wednesday, officials from the social welfare department and CWC inspected the hospital records. "We have recovered documents from the hospital which show they have handed over some children to the children's home without valid documents," said Vellore district social welfare officer P Gomathy. Some children were moved from Sishu Bhavan to a Chennai-based adoption agent. The officials also found that two were adopted by CMC staff. "We have called the adoptive parents for interrogation," said R Chezhian, a CWC member who was a part of the inspection team.

CMC medical superintendent Dr Lionel Gnanaraj maintained that the hospital had informed the police about all abandoned children in the hospital. "Last year there was only one abandoned child. In the previous years, we moved these children to homes after seeking police permission. While healthy children go to a Chennai-based home, those with abnormalities are sent to Sishu Bhavan," he said. Vellore superintendent of Police T S Anbu said they did receive a call last year. "But that was the only time the hospital informed us," he said.

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