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Child adoption

NEW DELHI: The ministry of women and child development (WCD) on Wednesday
hardened its stand reiterating that all child care institutions will have to follow
the new adoption guidelines.

Sources said that the ministry had changed its mind about consultation process
and would not be writing to the Missionaries of Charity (MoC) to try and convince
them.

In a statement WCD ministry said that the guidelines that came in to force from
August 1 had been brought after a long consultation process. "The ministry
recognizes the good work done by organizations like Missionaries of Charity.
However, it is reiterated that the new guidelines, prepared after an elaborate
consultation process, have to be followed by all child care institutions involved in
the process of adoption," it said.

The MoC announced its decision to discontinue adoption work saying it would be
difficult to comply by the new adoption guidelines. MoC's is opposed to giving
children for adoption to single prospective parents and gay couples.

Since the adoption process is being streamlined and put online for the first time
the Centre can assess reasons for rejection which so far had not come out in the
public. Single parents can adopt a child since 2011 guidelines and these
provisions have been retained in the 2015 guidelines.

The issue has become mired in controversy with WCD minister Maneka Gandhi
saying that the MoC was unwilling to be part of the government's "secular unified
agenda" and West Bengal CM Mamta Banerjee putting her weight behind the
charity.

"The guidelines, formulated after almost a year-long stakeholders' consultation


process are aimed at streamlining and speeding up the adoption process," the
ministry said. It added that the revised guidelines coupled with the new IT
enabled adoption system - CARINGS, provide a transparent process of adoption
under which all the child care institutions of the country have been brought into
an integrated system.

The ministry said that during the consultation process, a large number of
organizations had given feedback based on which this system has been designed
with the underlying objective that a child with a child care institution must find a
home as quickly as possible. Section 41(2) of the Juvenile Justice Act 2000
provides for a legal obligation on all child care institutions to promote and
undertake adoptions as per the guidelines laid down by the Central Government.
In case a child care institution is not able to work as per the guidelines, it has
option to transfer the children to other child care institutions which are working
under the Central Government guidelines.

While releasing the new guidelines and launching CARINGS, the ministry has
also simultaneously started country-wide workshops to enable child care
institutions understand the new guidelines and implement them.