The state government has drawn up a plan for a faster and more transparent adoption process, following allegations of irregularities in the adoption process. The state submitted its proposed action plan on Monday to Bombay High Court.
The division bench has asked the Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA), a nodal agency for international adoptions, to go through the plan and give its suggestions in four weeks.
The state has proposed to prepare and maintain a centralised, computerised list of adoptable children and potential parents. A ‘matching software’ has been suggested to link prospective parents and children.
The government also recommends making it compulsory for adoption homes to carry out home visit studies of prospective parents to ensure that the child is being placed in a safe environment.
To regularise monetary transactions, the state has proposed the payment of fees at a centralised level, which would then be transferred to the relevant adoption agency. Alternatively, the state has proposed to devise a suitable payment mechanism such as direct deposit of cheque or a demand draft into the bank account of the adoption agency.
The charity commissioner will conduct the audit of accounts of agencies that face monetary allegations. The audit will determine whether the accounts show excessive profits and whether these profits are being ploughed back into the institution.
While submitting the plan, the state presented figures that show that 576 children in Maharashtra are available for adoption. Of these, 309 are children with ‘special needs’. Similarly, there are 960 parents who have submitted applications for adoption and waiting.
The plan was submitted to the court, which was hearing a petition filed by two NGOs – Advait Foundation and Sakhee – which sought that an independent agency probe the allegations that Preet Mandir, a Pune-based adoption agency, was selling babies under the guise of adoption.