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NGOs up in arms against inter-country adoptions


By Chaitraly Deshmukh

Concerned over the alleged violation of fundamental rights of children, two children’s rights non-governmental organisations (NGOs), viz Thane-based Advait Foundation and Pune-based Sakhee have filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court asking for a complete ban on inter-country adoption of children.

The PIL, to be heard by the bench of justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai, claims that the country lacks proper law for protection of the rights of children up for adoption and, hence, parliament be directed to enact proper laws and amend the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986.The date of hearing is not yet fixed.

Thus, the petitioners through their lawyers Shekhar Naphade, Amit Sharma, Kunal Cheema and Rahul Jain, have claimed that the present laws governing adoption of children in India are not in consonance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children, 1989.

The Central government and Central Adoption and Resources Authority (Cara) have been made respondents in the PIL.
In their petition, the NGOs alleged that corruption and malpractices in the form of children allegedly being sold were rampant in inter-country adoption schemes. They claimed that children to be adopted are at times kidnapped from their biological parents.

Citing recent cases of blatant violation, the petition stated that in many states, cases are running against adoption centres for their alleged involvement in fraudulent and illegal activities.

Anjali Pawar, director of Sakhee, said that Maharashtra alone accounts for more than half of all inter-country adoptions taking place in the country. “Cases against five adoption agencies have been registered for allegedly demanding money for adoption,” she said.

The petition prays for access to all documents related to inter-country adoption in order to assess the extent of the problem in the country.

US, Europe residents lead in adoption

As per the data made available by the Central Adoption and Resources Authority (CARA), 593 children were adopted in the inter-country adoption schemes in 2010.

2012 May 21