HC issues notice to Centre, Delhi Govt, others in PIL seeking streamlining of Legal Adoption process

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On Wednesday, the High Court of Delhi issued notice to the Centre, Delhi Govt, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) & others in public interest litigation (PIL) seeking the Court’s intervention regarding necessary legal steps for streamlining & making the legal adoption process lucid & comprehensive.

The plea also sought direction for generating awareness in the masses with regard to rampant illegal adoptions in the country & its negative impact, so that prospective adoptive parents & children may not suffer the ignominy of facing criminal trial & length & cumbersome legal procedure.

The plea has sought directions for the simplification of the procedure to adopt children under the Juvenile Justice Act. It further sought for the opening up of more child care institutions or Centres & to bring existing unregistered ones under the ambit of the statutory umbrella.

The Division Bench of Justice DN Patel & Justice Jasmeet Singh on Wednesday sought responses from the respondents — Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of NCT of Delhi, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), Central Adoption Resource Authority & others — in plea moved by an NGO Yathartha Foundation.

Petitioner through Advocate MS Khan also sought a direction to respondents to take steps for creating Foster Homes & identifying the families who can take foster children & act as foster families & further to give full effect to Section 44 of the JJ Act & it’s related rules.

The plea said “illegal practices with regard to adoption are prevailing & pervading in India, which, has been a cause of suffering & harassment to a large number of children given & taken in adoption & also to their parents.”

The plea submitted that just like sex determination is illegal & awareness boards are displayed at ultrasound centres to inform the general public regarding the illegality of determining the gender of the child, similarly, awareness boards need to be displayed at IVF centres, surrogacy centres, maternity homes & orphanages, regarding the perils of the illegal adoption process, so as to protect the couples from falling to the lies of the touts, who offer adoption through illegal ways.

It further submitted that it is urgently required that the Central Adoption Resource Authority Rules, which are most stringent & unworkable should be simplified & even a registered Adoption Deed should be valid under CARA Act generally, that is, even for Non-Hindu Adoptive parents.

Besides this, it is also necessary that endeavours should be made for streamlining, simplifying & making the legal adoption process easy, lucid & comprehensible, so that all the illegal adoptions & illegal procurement of children for the purpose of adoptions can be prevented.

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