What child adoption rules say...

Last Updated 27 December 2012, 19:36 IST

For a country with a population of over 100 crore, finding abandoned children is not so uncommon.

However, can anybody who finds such a child take possession and adopt the child or worse, put her/him up for adoption? No.

According to the rules prescribed by the Centre: “It shall be the duty of every person, whether an individual or a nursing home or hospital or any other institution who or which finds an abandoned child or an orphan child without family support, to report the fact immediately either to the officer in charge of the nearest police station or the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) or Childline (Tel 1098) or the Specialised Adoption Agency (SAA) in that area, as is practicable.”

And then, the law prescribes that a SAA shall make restoration efforts in addition to the efforts made by the Child Welfare Committee to trace the parents or biological family of the abandoned child.

One of the officials said the SAA shall also conduct an independent enquiry for the same purpose.

“In case an abandoned child or an orphan is received by a SAA, it shall admit the child to its home on a temporary basis and such admission shall be finalised only after authorisation by the Child Welfare Committee,” the official said, adding that the details of all children admitted by a SAA shall be entered in the Master Admission Register.

The law also prescribes that a notification be made in a newspaper of the language spoken by the child and the notification shall be released in the area where the child was found abandoned. And for children of two years and above, a television or radio announcement shall also be made.

Further, in case of children below two years of age, the SAA has to conduct an independent enquiry and publish the required notificaitons and/or announcements within a period of sixty days from the date the child is found and in case of children of two years or above of age, the time period shall be four months.

If there is no claimant coming forward to take custody of the child even after this time period lapses, the SAA shall submit a declaration to the Child Welfare Committee stating that there has been no claimant for the child, after which the process of adoption can begin.

(Published 27 December 2012, 19:36 IST)

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