February 24, 2021 11:27:50 pm
A MAN booked by Mumbai Police two years ago for allegedly purchasing a child has approached the Delhi High Court, seeking to make the legal adoption procedures comprehensible and stating that he fell victim to the illegal adoption process and faced separation from his son.
In 2018, the Mumbai Police had rescued six children, claiming they were sold by their biological parents to couples looking to adopt children through middlemen, including staffers of hospitals and fertility clinics. The man, a Delhi resident, had claimed that he was fooled into believing that he was adopting a nine-year-old boy through a legal adoption process and that many like him fall for the “lies of touts who offer adoption through illegal ways”.
Last year, a civil court in Mumbai granted him and four other couples the legal custody of the rescued children, who spent over a year in an adoption centre.
Following this, the man found an organisation named Yathartha Foundation to create awareness about the adoption process, in a bid to ensure that others like him do not fall prey. In the petition before the Delhi High Court through this Foundation, the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) and others have been named as respondents. The petition seeks that the legal adoption process should be made lucid and comprehensible and awareness should be created among masses with regard to “rampant illegal adoptions in the country”.
“…Due to cumbersome, lengthy and difficult procedure given under CARA and due to non-clarity about the adoption procedure, families of prospective adoptive parents are being misguided and are making inappropriate choices after being misled by middlemen due to which the market of illegal adoption is thriving,” the petition stated.
The petition claimed that middlemen trap couples belonging to poorer sections of society or steal children for the purpose of trafficking. By approaching childless couples at IVF centres, they offer quick adoption, claiming that all legal formalities will be completed by them, which are fake documents.
“..It is submitted that just like sex determination is illegal and awareness boards are displayed at ultrasound centres to inform the general public regarding the illegality of determining the gender of child; similarly awareness boards need to be displayed at IVF centres, surrogacy centres, maternity homes and orphanages, regarding the perils of illegal adoption process…,” the petition stated.
The petition further stated that while District Child Welfare Committees are required to see all children within 24 hours of them being abandoned or orphaned, this does not always happen. It stated that while there are many homeless children in the country, they do not find their place in the adoption pool of CARA.
The writ seeks steps to simplify the procedure of adoption, opening of more child care centres to accommodate children and bring unregistered child care centres institutions under a statutory umbrella. It also seeks to strengthen the foster care system in the country.
The petition stated that the man has no personal interest in the case, but only aimed to streamline the system he fell victim to.
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