Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tighter Rules for Adoption from India

MUMBAI: Foreign adoptive parents may soon have to seek permission from the Indian government before they can put their adopted children in another home or with other foster parents if any problem arises. They may even have to spend some time with the child in India before taking him or her abroad and have to agree to set aside $5000 as defray costs of a failed adoption, in case the child has to be sent back to India.

In a slew of recommendations that are going to be finalised by the Bombay high court next week, the Government of India and the Central Adoption Regulatory Authority have imposed obligations on foreign adoption agencies, while laying down the formalities to be followed for inter-country adoptions. Once the guidelines are finalised, agencies specialising in inter-country adoptions will be made more accountable for their act than they are now.

During a hearing in a case of a 14-year-old girl who was adopted by foreign parents only to be abandoned later, Justice D Y Chandrachud had initiated the process of framing guidelines to ensure a safety net for all international adoptions. During a series of hearings, the judge had earlier expressed its displeasure at the Centre for not acting in a responsible manner. The government finally has now come out with draft guidelines which additional solicitor general Darius Khambata read out in the judge's chamber on Friday.

The guidelines state that in case of children with special needs, the adoptive parents must spend at least two weeks with the child in India prior to adoption. They should also be prepared to shell out more than $5000, so that in case of a failed adoption, the child can be looked after till he or she turns 18. If a child is sent back to India, $5000 must be sent immediately, the draft guidelines stipulate.

As I read this, my first reaction was of course, good. Clamp down. make it tougher to adopt transnationally.

But when I completed the article i was left thinking how bureaucrats see things incorrectly in several major ways:
First they try to patch holes in an already patch-ridden ship instead of ditching it and considering taking a plane to get to where they want to be...or better still, consider staying right where you are and improving life there!
Secondly, from their standpoint its all about finances. If a child being returned then costs them dollars to support, the adopters who committed to the child's care should bear the burden, not he state. I agree. I have stated many times that Torry Hansen, for instance, should pay support for the life - or minor years - of Artyem, just as a parent in a divorce does.
However, no amount of money will repair the damage done to a child who is tossed aside, unwanted in the most blatant way that is unexplainable in terms of his family's poverty.  

I see nowhere in these plans to provide increase screening and pre-adoption education.

And, I see no effort on the part of India to care for their own and set aside funds to encourage domestic adoptions.

Only punitive emasures, after the horse is out of the barn.

Sad. Very sad.


Gaye Tannenbaum said...

To say nothing about kidnapping for adoption. What does the Indian government plan to do about reuniting kidnapped children (some of them now adults) with their families of origin?

I have seen too many cases of PROVEN kidnapping with no recourse for the original family because the child has be "legally" adopted in another country.

Mirah Riben said...

Excellent point! Sadly, it seems as if the Indian gvt is just glad to have one less mouth to feed.

RussiaToday Apr 29, 2010 on Russian Adoption Freeze

Russi Today: America television Interview 4/16/10 Regarding the Return of Artyem, 7, to Russia alone

RT: Russia-America TV Interview 3/10

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