Thursday, June 3, 2010

BABIES ON SALE!

Illegal adoption routes are preferred by adoptive parents

Recently a couple of illegal adoption cases were exposed by various media houses in Bangalore and Mumbai. Adoption fundamentally was meant to provide a better living and growth environment for orphans. Historically, the process of adoption was given a very high social recognition. But then, the present form of adoption is all about a trade, which is getting murkier by the day. And no one is to be blamed other than the law of the land, which has acted as a catalyst to this trade. Adoption laws in India are not just laden with pointlessly prolonged and complex official processes, but surprisingly are different for different religion, in spite of Indian Constitution being secular in nature. These discriminatory and complex legal procedures have created an enabling environment for 'Baby mafia' to thrive.

Adoption laws in India, unlike elsewhere in the world, falls within the arena of personal laws and varies from religion to religion. On the one hand, where Hindu Personal Law provides scope for adoption, on the other, the Muslim law doesn’t encourage such practice. Christians, Parsis and Jews can only be legal guardians and not parents – however, this law is still under reconsideration. Moreover, Indian laws still do not permit couples above the age of 45 to adopt children. Also the supply of children for adoption, through legal route, is quite limited and scarce, and so the adoptive parents have to wait for years for their turn to come. If the adoptive parents hold a NRI status, then they have bigger problems as then they need to channelise their request through a recognised Central Adoption Resource Agency, which is again in short supply. The discriminatory and non-uniform law makes and the resultant asymmetries in the market forces the adoptive parents go through non-conventional channels. For that matter even if an adoptive parent successfully crosses all the above hurdles, the bigger predicament that appears in their route is the right of birth mother. According to the Supreme Court, the “birth” mother is given 60 days after surrendering the baby to the adoptive parents to get back the baby, if she changes her mind. In such a case, the adoptive parents are left with no choice, even after all paper work and monetary expenditures.

In case of illegal adoption, not only the adoptive parents get a choice of a baby, but can by pass long formal procedures. They not just escape the perils of long waiting list and age-bar but also the numerous visits to Central Adoption Resource Agency (in case of NRIs). The biggest relief the parents get from illegal routes is the call back right of birth mothers. Most of the time, non-Hindus resort to illegal adoption in order to call themselves as parents (officially) and just not be confined to guardian tag. Guardian tag not also raises issues like inheritance rights but also is seen as social taboo. But then these illegal routes don’t promise these children a safe home and equal rights (which is taken care of by legal procedures). There have been numerous cases where adoptive parents abandon these children after few months of adoption and also escape any legal action as well. Children adopted through such routes are also found being sold in flesh trade market and are sometime exported as slaves and bonded labourers to other countries.

In India, where there are tens of hundreds of children on streets without any care, it is imperative to streamline the adoption process and for that the adoption laws should be draft ed with a singular objective and that is to provide home to every homeless child!

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5 comments:

  1. Great Post Thank you for sharing i wondered what it takes to be a genius?

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  2. Thank you for such an nformative post!

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  3. superb topic chosen..b'coz most of the people doesn't feel the need of such centres and hence nothing much has been written in this subject.Govt should realise that this section of people are already been deprived of such happiness by nature and added to that is the harassment and the long waiting that they face during adoption. Can't these centres make it easier and quicker so that both the principles are being addressed i.e a child for the childless couple and a home for the homeless child...Also these centres should open window for easier adoption by a single mother.

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