A long wait but worth the effort

TOUGH PROCESS

A long wait but worth the effort

There are a lot of couples in the City, who have come forward to adopt a child. But they find the legal process not only confusing but also a long-winded one. Most adoptive parents agree that the procedure for adoption must be transparent but the long process must not end up deterring people.

Adopting a child has become more transparent albeit a long-drawn procedure after the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 was amended recently to include more procedures. The amended version provides for streamlining and strengthening measures for adoption, including providing statutory status to the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA).

Couples in the City, who have adopted a child, say that they did so because they really wanted to do so. Sandeep and his wife Asha (name changed) adopted a girl child despite having a biological child.

“I had always wanted to adopt a child. I spoke about this to my wife before our marriage and thankfully, she didn’t mind. It’s the most beautiful feeling and our children get along well because we have told both of them about the adoption,” says Sandeep, who feels parents must not hide anything from the child. Sandeep says that the legal procedures took a long time and the documentation process is a bit of a hassle. “But it’s worth every effort,” he adds.

 Dr Aloma Lobo, former chairperson of CARA and head of an adoption consultancy agency, observes that the stigma of adoption has slowly faded with time. This change in attitude has not only had a lot of young couples come forward to adopt but also openly talk about the issue. Aloma Lobo has biological children but also chose to adopt.

“Sadly, only healthy children below the age of one get picked. Those with special needs are adopted through inter-country adoption but have no takers in India,” she states.

Advocates dealing with adoption cases say that the change in the legal process has ushered in a lot of clarity in the role and procedures of statutory structures, such as Child Welfare Committee and Juvenile Justice Boards, thus strengthening punitive measures for offences against children.

EX Antony, an advocate with the City Civil Court who has been dealing with cases of adoption for the last two decades, says that there are a lot of young couples who
are eagerly waiting to adopt but there aren’t enough children.

“Once the biological parents give the child up for adoption, the Child Welfare Committee, which monitors the agencies dealing with adoption, gives them 60 days to reconsider their decision. If there is no change, the biological parents sign what is called as a “surrender document” which means they have no more claims on the child,” he points out.

Antony further states that when a couple comes forward to adopt, a social worker associated with the adoption agency first conducts a home study which includes getting details like the adoptive parents' marriage certificate, age proof and proof of
employment.

The agency’s responsibilities do not end there. “The legal formalities of adoption are completed within three months but the agency monitors the child’s progress in foster care for a period of five years,” he adds.

He further states that the adoption agencies must have two licences given by the Central Adoption Resource Authority.

    “One licence permits domestic adoption (within a particular country) and the other permits inter-country adoption (between two countries). The agencies cannot operate without these two licences,” he informs.

   Anand and Shruti (name changed), IT professionals and a couple in their late twenties, recently adopted a one-and-a-half-year-old baby. They feel the process of adoption is extremely stressful.

“It takes a long time before we can take custody of the child. We spoke to a lot of people and did plenty of research before zeroing in on the agency just to avoid being duped. But the wait is worth it,” Shruti sums up.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry