Lack of specialized adoption centres in states: Maneka Gandhi

New Delhi, Oct 8 (IANS) Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi on Thursday lamented the lack of specialized adoption resource centres in states even as she set a target of 50,000 adoptions by next year.

At a national workshop on review of women and child related schemes, she expressed concern that most states do not have Specialised Adoption Resource Agencies and that there were only 411 adoption agencies with the Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA).

Gandhi said that there were more than 800 available children whereas around 9,000 parents are waiting to adopt a child.

“We have revised the guidelines of CARA but there were very few adoption agencies in every state. There are only 633 Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) and 278 State Adoption Agencies (SAAs) operational in 677 districts which should be otherwise one each district under the law,” she said.

The minister asked all states to register every Child Care Institution (CCI) with CARA, saying it will help in reducing both child abuse and trafficking.

Gandhi said a major delay in adoption process is being caused due to judicial proceedings.

Urging states to report to the ministry if there are more than two hearings in declaring a child legally free for adoption, she said: “We have a large number of children that are not legally free due to police and judges. Chief justices in most courts have given orders that such cases should be disposed off in two hearings.”

She said 676 cases have been pending before courts and 1,072 children are waiting for legal clearances for over six months.

During the course of the workshop, the minister also questioned the states on the progress of setting up of one stop centres for women who have suffered violence and integrating the women’s helpline.

She also asked the states to initiate setting up of special village committees on women’s issues.

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