In order to fast-track the process of child adoption, the Women and Child Development Ministry on Friday said they have decided to shift the legal procedures from the family court to the district administration.
Noting the District Collectors and Magistrates are the head of the district child protection unit in any case, Women and Child Development Secretary Rakesh Srivastava said that this change has been proposed in the Juvenile Justice Act of 2015 which deals with adoptions.
The Ministry is releasing the family courts of the administrative burden of renewing the order before a child is placed into adoption and shifting it to the District Collectors and Magistrates, he said at The Third Biennale International Conference on Alternative Care for a Huge Population of Vulnerable Children in South Asia being held at Amity University.
“The existing law prescribes a two-year-period within which the certificate of adoption has to be issued by the court. Our experience here is that it is taking more than two years. Once it is given to the District Magistrates, we are confident that we will be able to issue the certificate of adoption within two years which is the statutory limit,” he added.
According to the Secretary, the decision by the Ministry has been taken considering the wide gap between prospective adopting parents and children to be adopted.
“Our matter of concern is that our adoptions have not progressed in the manner which we would have wanted. There are around 14,000 prospective adopting parents who are waiting for children but the number of children we can offer is only 900.
“Many of the parents lose hope which is not a very good situation. We are trying to see how we can further enhance the number of children whom we can give for adoption in our country as because after five years it becomes very difficult for a child to get adopted,” Srivastava said.
The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is a statutory body under the WCD Ministry which functions as the nodal body for the adoption of Indian children and is mandated to monitor and regulate the in-country and inter-country adoptions.