After 18 months, adoptions at Pune’s Preet Mandir resume

Published: Saturday, Feb 5, 2011, 10:11 IST
By Bhagyashree Kulthe | Place: Pune | Agency: DNA

A ray of hope has dawned upon a number of orphans in Preet Mandir, whose adoptions had been held up for the last one-and-a-half years. On Thursday, a 2-year-old girl was finally united with her South African adoptive parents, bringing joy all around.

This was the first adoption at Preet Mandir after the Bombay high court’s green signal to resume the process, which had been halted for many months following a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe against the adoption agency.

The adoption of a number of orphans had been adversely affected after Preet Mandir’s licence for foreign adoptions was revoked on May 20, 2010. The licence for domestic adoption was suspended on June 16 last year following allegations of malpractices in the adoption process. Adoptions in Preet Mandir came to a complete halt as the children could not be shifted to other agencies due to a stay order. The adoption of 28 children was in the pipeline when the licence for foreign adoption was revoked.

As a result, the Central Adoption Resource Agency (Cara), the central authority issuing the no objection certificate (NOC) for adoptions, refused to clear the cases. However, the court recently directed Cara to issue the NOCs.

In the case of the latest adoption, the “matching” of the child with its prospective parents had been completed and the couple had selected the child in January 2010. In normal cases, the NOCs are issued within 15 days, but the child and the adoptive parents had to wait for more than a year.

The South African couple, who requested anonymity on grounds of privacy, was forced to reside in a city hotel for more than two months to fulfill formalities to take custody of the child. The couple lamented that the process and paperwork was given more importance than the fate of the child.

“It was a long and painful struggle before we finally got our child. Several other families in South Africa are going through this tortuous process. We think the future of the children should be placed above all in the whole process,” the couple said.

Major Shiwain Kaul, commanding officer of 2nd battalion of the National Cadet Corps, was present when the child was handed over to the couple.