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Develop permanent mechanism for inter-country adoptions under Hindu law, HC tells Centre

The court passed its judgement on a batch of petitions arising out of difficulties faced by couples in inter-country adoptions
shish Tripathi
Last Updated : 05 September 2021, 12:27 IST
Last Updated : 05 September 2021, 12:27 IST
Last Updated : 05 September 2021, 12:27 IST
Last Updated : 05 September 2021, 12:27 IST

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The Delhi High Court has told the Union government's Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) to develop a permanent mechanism to deal with inter-country adoptions under the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act (HAMA), 1956.

A single bench of Justice Pratibha M Singh said a framework would have to be put in place in India as the Hague Convention, 1993, recognises adoptions under HAMA but still stipulates acquiring of a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the central authority in case of inter-country adoptions.

The court pointed out that currently, CARA (Central Adoption Resource Authority) is the only agency dealing with inter-country adoptions. However, there is no existing procedure under it for adoptions under HAMA. It directed CARA to act as the authority for the purposes of enabling inter-country adoptions under HAMA, until a permanent mechanism is established.

The court also pointed out that the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act – 2021, too, does not deal with the category of inter-country adoptions under HAMA.

"The central government would accordingly need to find a permanent solution to the problems being faced by the biological parents, adoptive parents and above all the children who are being adopted under the provisions of HAMA, especially when the said children have to be sent abroad and the requirements under the Hague Convention would have to be fulfilled," the court said.

The court directed the Secretary, WCD Ministry, to place a report within two months detailing the manner and mode of creating a permanent mechanism to deal with inter-country adoptions under HAMA, keeping in mind utmost welfare of the children and to avoid any trafficking.

The court passed its judgement on a batch of petitions arising out of difficulties faced by couples in inter-country adoptions.

Issuing broad guidelines, the court directed that whenever any such adoption takes place under HAMA and a NOC is required for any purpose, including for issuance of a passport or VISA, a special committee would be appointed on an application being filed before CARA, to verify antecedents and consent of the biological parents, details of any religious ceremony conducted, and adoption deed and permission letter from the receiving country.

It told the CARA to create a specific form and carry out necessary changes on its portal incorporating the guidelines within four weeks.

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Published 05 September 2021, 12:09 IST

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