Wed, 30 Nov 2022

New Delhi [India], October 7 (ANI): A lawyer, who had adopted a girl child after a wait of 3 years, has urged the Supreme Court to direct the concerned authorities to formulate a legislative and administrative framework relating to the process of adoption in India.

The petitioner Srisabarirajan, who is a lawyer practising in the Bombay High Court, has filed the petition through advocate Vishnu Kant.

The Petitioner along with his wife have adopted a girl child, after a wait of 3 years.

He had preferred the present petition inter alia for the enforcement of various fundamental rights and protections secured to the children in need of protection and care, under the Constitution of India, and with a view to seeking immediate and emergency intervention of this Hon'ble Court on certain grave issues which currently exist with respect to the adoption of children under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 Act (JJ Act) and the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 (HAMA Act), protection and care, including the adoption of children with special needs, Foster Care, and Sponsorship.

The petitioner has expressed concern about the declining rate of adoption and cited that the affidavit filed by the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) before the top Court, for the period between April 2020 and January 11, 2022, 10094 children are orphaned, 1,36,910 children have lost either parent and 488 children are abandoned after the onset of Covid-19. Despite the huge increase in the number of orphaned, abandoned and surrendered children, the number of children getting adopted under the JJ Act is meagre and continues to decline. The total number of children adopted under the JJ Act in the financial year of 2021-22 is 2991, the petitioner said.

Hence, the petitioner has sought to declare it is the constitutional and statutory obligation of the Respondents to secure the rights of the children in need of care and protection, in relation to non-institutional care and protection to the children in the forms of adoption, foster care, and sponsorship.

The petitioner has sought direction to the respondents to formulate a legislative and administrative framework which secures and achieves a clear policy objective, a cohesive legislative framework, administrative machinery across all States and a match-up between resources allocated, resources spent, and resources needed, a process of continual audit of the activities of all concerned administrative agencies.

The petitioner has sought a structure of accountability, monitoring and reporting within the administrative machinery and to make public on a half-yearly basis all statistics in relation to children in difficult circumstances, children in the stream of adoption, and children in the stream of foster care.

The petition sought to direct the respondent to create a full and accurate census of the total children in the country, and children in different categories who are in difficult circumstances and to consider the formation of a Ministry and administrative structure specifically devoted to the care, education and well-being of the children in India.

The petitioner has also sought to establish a Specialised Adoption Agency, under Section 65 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, in every District of the Country, where currently there is no single Special Adoption Agency.

The petition sought to direct the respondents to take necessary and immediate steps to implement the recommendations made by the 118th Report of the Parliamentary StandingCommittee on 'Review of Guardianship and Adoption Laws' presented to the Parliament on 8th August 2022, including revamping the entire Adoption Laws to make it uniform, comprehensive, more transparent, accountable, verifiable, less bureaucratic and applicable to all irrespective of religion in order to make adoptions more easy and less cumbersome.

The petition also sought to direct the respondents to take steps to expedite all necessary actions under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 to ensure that every single child who is currently in the 'adoptable' category, with the corresponding suitable prospective adoptive parents available, is referred to such prospective parents in a time-bound manner.

The petition also sought to formulate and issue Guidelines for timely and speedy actions by the authorities/ stakeholders under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 to ensure that 'children in need of protection and care are immediately provided with the best possible and available alternate care (in terms of adoption, foster care, kinship care, sponsorship) without any administrative delay.

The petition also sought to direct the Central Government and State Governments to formulate a policy for creating awareness among the common people - including aggressive advertising campaigns in all forms of media - as to the existing procedures for adoption, foster care, kinship care, sponsorship, and allocate sufficient and separate funds on a regular basis for creating such awareness.

The Supreme Court has tagged the petition with other matters dealing with adoption and listed it for further hearing on November 4. (ANI)

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