- The Government of India recognizes that the Welfare of society, its growth and development depends to a great extent on the health and wellbeing of its children. The National Policy for Children recognises that the nation’s children are a supremely important asset and their nature and solicitude is the responsibility of the nation.
- It is indeed the joint responsibility of the society at large and the State to provide both institutional and non-institutional support to destitute children. Traditionally, our society has been providing support through charitable institutions and non-institutional activities like adoption, guardianship and foster care.
- It is an accepted fact that the child develops best in his or her own cultural and social milieu. Thus placement of a child through adoption in an indigenous setting would be ideal for his or her growth and development. Inter-country adoption, i.e. adoption of Indian children by adoptive parents residing abroad, should be resorted to only if all efforts to place the child with adoptive parents residing in India prove unsuccessful. Generally, in all matters concerning adoption, whether within the country or abroad, the welfare and interest of the child should be paramount.
- There is a need to have a Central Scheme under which assistance is provided to organizations, which are making efforts to rehabilitate children within the country through sponsorship, foster care or adoption. There are very few organizations, which are working in this field, and on account of the paucity of funds, these are often not in a position to offer children to couples and families with limited income, as it is not possible to recover the cost of maintenance and other miscellaneous expenses from them.
- A large number of children are abandoned or orphaned, these days for various socio-economic reasons viz. due to the changes in the traditional social structures and community support systems, on account of the pressures of modern day living or due to urbanisation and industrialisation. The children are thus left to find for themselves in greater numbers. Therefore, the need for creating and setting up alternative support system in the community is very urgent in order to encourage voluntary organisations to take on the responsibility for providing care, protection, nature to the children and to find placement for them in families for ensuring their proper growth, and development, it has been felt necessary to strengthen the existing scheme for setting up Home (Sishu Greh) for children in the age group of 0-6 in the country preferably in rural areas.
- Presently adoptions is carried out in the country both formally and informally. Formal adoptions take place under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act. Destitute and orphan children are also taken in guardianship under the Guardianship and Wards Act. In addition a large number of adoptions take place between families and relatives as also through the unofficial channels such as Nursing 222 Homes etc. It has been noted that there is no single regulatory authority or act, which covers both formal and private adoptions. It is, therefore, felt that the State Governments need to play a more active role in order to ensure that adoptions take place only after proper documentation and scrutiny of the prospective parents has been done. The first step would be to make it mandatory for all State Governments to register Orphanages and Homes, which are active in the field of adoptions. The practice of Nursing Homes illegally passing on unwanted babies of families/couples should be severely dealt with. The presence of organizations both Government and Non Government for care and protection of young children would create a conducive environment for adoption and lead to better awareness and increase social responsibility amongst citizens towards the need to encourage and promote adoption as a viable alternative for rehabilitating orphans and destitute children.
The main objective of the scheme are:
- to regulate adoption within the country to ensure minimum standards in care of children.
- to provide support for institutional care within the country for care and protection of infants and children upto 6 years of age who are either abandoned or orphaned/destitute and their rehabilitation through In-Country adoption and
- to promote In-Country adoptions
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