The Supreme Court on Monday said there should be a “credible mechanism” for intra and inter-country adoption of children and asked the Centre to frame rules and regulations to facilitate it within three months.
A bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur, however, said the new mechanism should lay down rules and regulations similar to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
“It has taken over three decades for you (the government) to enact a law on adoption after the SC issued guidelines on it in 1984,” the bench noted, while observing: “…Nonetheless, it’s better because the ultimate objective is to ensure the welfare of children”.
The order came on a PIL filed by NGO Advaita Foundation, seeking a regulatory mechanism to deal with adoption in the country, alleging it had become a major illegal commercial activity.
According to the new law, online registration of prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) is compulsory, including uploading all documents related to the process. Home study of PAPs will be completed within a month of registration on the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) website. The new rules stipulate increase in the age of PAPs from 45 to 55 years.
The court declined to order the CBI to conduct a probe into the alleged irregular adoptions so far. It said there can be no omnibus probe but gave liberty to the organisation to approach the top court again if it came across any illegality.