‘Most child care institutes in India are violating law’
The Juvenile Justice Act’s Section 66 mandates a CCI to get registered in the state where it functions even if it has not been recognized as Specialized Adoption Agency (SAA).india Updated: Jul 17, 2018 23:21 IST
The Centre’s directive asking states and Union territories on Monday to inspect Missionaries of Charities (MoC) — run homes and institutions has again highlighted how child care institutions (CCIs) have been violating the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, government officials said on condition of anonymity. It follows the adoption racket busted at a MoC home in Jharkhand.
The Juvenile Justice Act’s Section 66 mandates a CCI to get registered in the state where it functions even if it has not been recognized as Specialized Adoption Agency (SAA).
A CCI is required to ensure all orphans; abandoned or surrendered children under its care are reported, produced and declared legally free for adoption. The CCIs are supposed to develop formal linkages with nearby SAA and furnish details of the children declared legally free for adoption. Violation of Section 66 invites ₹50,000 penalty.
Officials in the Union women and child development (WCD) ministry, which administers adoption rules, said the MoC in Jharkhand was not recognised as SAA.
“The home in question did not follow any of the rules and was allegedly giving children for adoption illegally. We have asked the states to link details of all children at CCIs with Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA),” a ministry official added.
There are 2,300 CCIs linked to CARA yet to be brought under the formal adoption system.
The WCD ministry has directed all state governments to submit their reports after inspections by July 31.
The MoC said it would cooperate. “Even while we place our full trust in the judicial process that is underway, we wish to express regret and sorrow for what happened and desire to express in unequivocal terms our condemnation of individual actions which have nothing to do with the congregation of the MoC,’’ it said in a statement on Tuesday. “We are fully cooperating with the investigations and are open to any free, fair and just inquiry.”
The MoC had voluntarily given up its status to run adoption homes in 2015 after the new guidelines, which allowed single, separated and divorced people to adopt children, came into force.
It had said it would found it difficult to comply with some of the provisions of the new guidelines that “go against the well-established and widely accepted principles, set up by Mother Teresa, and the principles of ethics and human dignity.”
The MoC runs 16 orphanages under the name of Nirmala Shishu Bhawan, providing shelter, food, medical care and schooling to abandoned and destitute children. The government had authorized 13 of them to run adoption centres before 2015.
“We started an orphanage and adoption centre in Indore in 1985. But now we run only an old age home,” said Sister Alisa from MoC, Indore.
Sister Alisa said they have nothing to hide in response to the government’s direction over inspections of MoC-run institutions and homes. “We are open to any government inspection, as we follow all government directives.”
Two sisters from Nirmal Hriday, MoC’s shelter home for destitute women in Ranchi, were arrested for allegedly selling four newborns for money on July 5. The adoption racket came to light following a district child welfare committee investigation.
First Published: Jul 17, 2018 23:11 IST