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Child Adoption in India A National Perspective

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Presentation on theme: "Child Adoption in India A National Perspective"— Presentation transcript:

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

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

3 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 N. MEHTA

4 Paradigm Shifts in Child Protection Approaches
Needs To Rights Welfare Development & Empowerment Institutional & Non-Institutional Residential & Family-Based Care Alternatives N. MEHTA

5 Contd… Custodial Holistic, Care in Integrated Institutions Development
Segregation & Inclusion & Isolation from Mainstreaming Society Beneficiary & Participants & Recipient of Partner Services N. MEHTA

6 Paradigm Shifts in Adoption
Needs Based Rights Based Framework Approach Parent Child Centered Centered Child for a Family for a Child Family N. MEHTA

7 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. N. MEHTA

8 Prevention of Abandonment and Surrender by birth parent/s.
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. N. MEHTA

9 Kinship Care, Foster care, Sponsorship Inter Country Adoptions
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. N. MEHTA

10 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) N. MEHTA

11 STATISTICAL OVERVIEW of Adoption of Indian Children
Year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 In-Country 1536 1510 2169 1852 5693 5964 Inter-Country 852 770 821 666 593 589 Total 2288 2280 2990 2518 6286 6553 SOURCE: CARA N. MEHTA

12 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. N. MEHTA

13 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. N. MEHTA

14 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. N. MEHTA

15 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. N. MEHTA

16 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. N. MEHTA

17 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. N. MEHTA

18 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. N. MEHTA

19 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. N. MEHTA

20 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. N. MEHTA

21 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….. N. MEHTA

22 Thank You N. MEHTA

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