Supreme Court orders tough action against illegal calls for adoption of COVID-19-orphaned children.
- Court directive follows NCPCR, on Monday, raising the alarm on a spate of complaints on such illegal adoption.
- The Supreme Court has directed the States and Union Territories (UTs) to take stringent action against private individuals and NGOs who invite people to illegally adopt children orphaned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- A Bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Aniruddha Bose, in an 18-page order published on Tuesday, ordered the government to step in and prevent private entities from revealing the identities of COVID-19 affected children, usually on social media, and inviting people to adopt them.
- The State Governments/Union Territories are directed to prevent any NGO from collecting funds in the names of the affected children by disclosing their identity and inviting interested persons to adopt them. No adoption of affected children should be permitted contrary to the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015,” the court ordered.
‘CARA involvement must’
- It was illegal to invite strangers to adopt children, already traumatised by their personal losses, without the involvement of the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), a statutory body under the Women and Child Development Ministry.
- Invitation to persons for adoption of orphans is contrary to law as no adoption of a child can be permitted without the involvement of CARA. Stringent action shall be taken by the State Governments/Union Territories against agencies/individuals who are responsible for indulging in this illegal activity,.
- The order came after the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), on Monday, raised the alarm on a spate of complaints about illegal adoption of COVID-19 orphans through private individual and organisations. The Commission said certain private individuals and organisations have been actively collecting data on these children while claiming that they wanted to assist families and children in adoption.
- NCPCR statistics show that 3,621 children were orphaned, 26,176 children lost either parent and 274 abandoned between April 1, 2021 to June 5, 2021. The second wave of the pandemic was at its worst form during this period, leaving a trail of death across the country.
- The apex court is hearing a suo motu case on the plight of children impacted by the pandemic.
- Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is a statutory body of Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India.
- It functions as the nodal body for adoption of Indian children and is mandated to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoptions.
- CARA is designated as the Central Authority to deal with inter-country adoptionsin accordance with the provisions of the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, 1993, ratified by Government of India in 2003.
- CARA primarily deals with adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children through its associated /recognised adoption agencies.
- CARA is also mandated to frame regulations on adoption-related matters from time to time as per Section 68 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
Source – The Hindu