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Child Adoption in India A National Perspective Dr. Nilima Mehta Professor & Consultant Child Protection- Adoption.

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Presentation on theme: "Child Adoption in India A National Perspective Dr. Nilima Mehta Professor & Consultant Child Protection- Adoption."— Presentation transcript:

1 Child Adoption in India A National Perspective Dr. Nilima Mehta Professor & Consultant Child Protection- Adoption

2 N. MEHTA Current Situation New Adoption Regime A State of Transition and Challenges that go with any form of Change

3 N. MEHTA Non Negotiable Principles in Adoption and Child Protection Best Interest of the Child Child at the Centre of all policies, programmes and legislations Transparency and Ethical practices Protection of the Child from all forms of NEGLECT ABUSE VIOLENCE EXPLOITATION

4 N. MEHTA Paradigm Shifts in Child Protection Approaches NeedsToRights WelfareDevelopment & Empowerment Institutional &Non-Institutional Residential& Family-Based CareAlternatives

5 N. MEHTA Contd… CustodialHolistic, Care inIntegrated InstitutionsDevelopment Segregation &Inclusion & Isolation fromMainstreaming Society Beneficiary &Participants & Recipient ofPartner Services

6 N. MEHTA Paradigm Shifts in Adoption Needs BasedRights Based FrameworkApproach ParentChild Centered Centered Child for aFamily for a Child Family

7 N. MEHTA Priority Framework in Child Protection and Adoption Child’s Right to be brought up in a nurturing family environment – in the family of birth. For families “At Risk” – Family Strengthening and Non Institutional Alternative Care Intervention programmes and services.

8 N. MEHTA Contd… Prevention of Abandonment and Surrender by birth parent/s. Rehabilitation programmes for the child within the country of origin - India. In country Adoption for children without parental care and who are declared legally free for adoption by the statutory body – CWC.

9 N. MEHTA Contd… Kinship Care, Foster care, Sponsorship Inter Country Adoptions  NRI, PIO and OCI parent/s  Foreigners Last option in the rehabilitation sequence is long term institutional care.

10 N. MEHTA Developmental Aspects in Adoption Understanding the psychosocial, emotional implications of Adoption within socio cultural realities Mental Health Perspective–Study of the role and impact of early childhood experiences on the child’s personality development (Bowlby) Sociological Examination of Adoption and Family Relationship – concept of “Shared Fate” (Kirk) Psychology of Adoption (Brodzinsky) Concepts of “Primal Wound”–understanding post adoption issues (Vennier) Adoption as a preferred option due to the negative impact of long term institutional care (Tolfree) Concept and practice of Open Adoptions (Barron and Pannor)

11 N. MEHTA STATISTICAL OVERVIEW of Adoption of Indian Children Year In-Country Inter-Country Total SOURCE: CARA

12 N. MEHTA Emerging Issues, Concerns & Suggestions (Detailed explanation in the accompanying paper) If there are “adoptable” children who are orphaned, abandoned, surrendered and without parental care in CCI, they need to be brought within the fold of Adoption to ensure their right to a family. Expediting and Facilitating family based rehabilitation of children so that they are prevented from being institutionalized and / or de-institutionalized so that they spend the shortest time in institutions.

13 N. MEHTA Contd… Changes in the Adoption Regime in India without the necessary and new systems in place in the country, has led to many hurdles in the Adoption Process. Inordinate Delays at different levels - CWC, CARA, SARA, ARC, Courts, Passports - is certainly not in the Best Interest of the Child. Lack of uniformity, standardization and interpretation of norms, rules, procedures, protocols across the country.

14 N. MEHTA Contd… Different interpretation of CARA guidelines, JJ rules and state rules leads to ambiguity and delays. CARA guidelines are sometimes seen only as “guidelines” and not mandatory to implement. They need to be part of a statute in order “to have teeth”. Need for knowledge building and capacity building for the new CARA team as well as the Adoption practioners in order to understand the sensitivities and complexities in the Adoption situation.

15 N. MEHTA Contd… Clear understanding of CARA – as being an autonomous body within the MWCD, GOI – in terms of responsibility, accountability and decision making. Need to address the issues and technical difficulties that arise for AFAAs and RIPAs in the context of the new MIS – CARINGS. Not adequate and effective communication between MWCD, CARA and the relevant State Departments leading to a lot of implementation and operational difficulties in terms of SARA and ARC.

16 N. MEHTA Contd… Procedures for Special Needs children needs a review to see if for a CARA approved family, there can be direct contact / referral between RIPAs and AFAA for special needs children. Focus on the Developmental Aspects of Adoption in terms of Pre and Post Adoption Counselling, understanding the psychology of Adoption, and a uniform policy for “Roots Search” is very much needed.

17 N. MEHTA Contd… The issue of “Direct Adoptions” is of serious concern and clearly enunciated rules are required for family adoptions, direct adoptions, or “Dattaka” under HAMA without court procedures, since there is no Hague Compliance for such adoptions, in the Inter-country adoption process (Articles 5, 17a, 23). Private, illegal placements through hospitals, nursing homes and individuals amounts to trafficking in children and this needs serious intervention.

18 N. MEHTA Contd… Creating awareness about the concept of “prevention of abandonment” through “safe surrender” rather than leaving the child in unsafe places during compelling circumstances. An “Appeal Body” or an “ombudsman” type of system to be introduced to address conflict situations has been suggested by some organizations. Code of Ethics in Adoption to be developed.

19 N. MEHTA Contd… Can Humanitarian Aid to support other child protection programmes be reviewed? Difficulties in transfer of children from CCI to SAA to RIPA (Inter city and state). Surrogacy and IVF issues and Adoption. Adoption by same sex couples has been a query. Role of Scrutiny Agency in the adoption process, since they are appointed by the judiciary to assist the court.

20 N. MEHTA Contd… Need for Research in Adoption which can contribute to knowledge development for Adoption policies and practice. Uniformity and standardization of statistical data in order to draw out relevant and reliable trends from it. Important Role of MEA, Consulates, Embassies and High Commissions in Inter Country Adoption. Need for the appointment of a technical team of Adoption professionals to partner with CARA on policy, training and development issues.

21 N. MEHTA Convergence, Dovetailing and Team Work between all the partners in the adoption process will go a long way in evolving a “Seamless” adoption process in the …. BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD…..

22 N. MEHTA Thank You


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