Child adoption process needs to be transparent

Oct 21, 2007
India, Parul Malik, CNN-IBN

New Delhi: Misinformation violates the rights of biological parents, of the child and the adoptive parents. And yet adoption is crucial for thousands of destitute children. So it is important to look at solutions that would make the entire process transparent and free from racketeers.
Chaya Maria Schupp is 31. She has come from Germany looking for her birth mother from Mangalore.

Chaya spent the first seven years of her life with her Indian mother. Before a German family adopted her. Chaya’s is still to find her mother.

Schupp says, “In my case there are no records. I cannot believe it I filed a case in High Court. I spend so much money coming. India is no holiday.”
Single and unwed mothers are most vulnerable to child traffickers. With support many of them could raise their children themselves.
Child Adoption Activist Gita Ramaswamy says, “There should be, for all unwed mothers, separated mothers, there should be a kind of support system as there is in the west.”

No adoption agency should run an unwed mothers’ home. Doing so creates a conflict of interests as the agency is directly interested in acquiring a child for adoption.

There is also the issue of dubious grants from international agencies that come in the form of ‘Humanitarian Aid’.
“If I am giving you 50lakhs then I know that 6 babies are coming to me this year. Its like per baby so much money. Because if you examine the figures the donation received by particular agency over the year and number of baby shifted over the years. You will see there is a close tally, “Ramaswamy adds.
These are indirect illegal payments for babies that must be curbed.
Professor Hilda Rayappan from Prajna Counseling Centre says, “So let them pay the money whatever money they have to pay to the placement agency or anybody else in the process let them pay to the district treasury and get the challan and produce it to the placement agency.”
Adoption agencies here just have to be made more accountable.

Stree Jagruti Samiti Secretary Geeta Menon says, “The agency should put up a declaration or a white paper every month as to how these adoption takes place, how many papers are there, what kind of medical records are produced, you know they should be accountable to the public.”
Foreign adoption itself need not be discourage as there are some children with no takers within India.
Bombay High Court Advocate Abhay Nevagi says, “In India I am sure very rarely an Indian family will consider a child whos mother was tested HIV positive but there are many cases foreigners simply ignore it.”

The role of scrutiny agencies needs to be reexamined if malpractice in adoptions is to be avoided.
“Free for adoption is a right of the Child Welfare Committee but we know quite a few placement agencies bypassing the responsibility of the Child Welfare Committee they are not producing the surrendered children to the child welfare committee at all, “Rayappan adds.
With CARA now promising to quicken foreign adoptions, who will ensure that families are not being broken up by dubious adoption agencies? Who will bring such child-traffickers to book? When will the system become transparent and corruption-free? For the sake of these children, it’s best that we remain optimistic.

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