361 adoption orders issued since September, efforts on to reduce pendency: WCD Ministry official

  • | Tuesday | 6th December, 2022

New Delhi, Dec 6 (PTI) A total of 361 adoption orders have been issued since the amended rules came into force in September, according to a senior official, who said continuous efforts are being made to reduce pendency of adoption orders. There are around 28,000 prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) looking to adopt while there are around 2,500 children who are legally free for adoption, the official said. The Women and Child Development Ministry official said as on date the pendency of adoption orders has come down to 644. He said intensive interactions were made with all district magistrates, child welfare committees (CWCs), district child protection units and specialised adoption agencies and chief medical officers after the notification of Adoption Regulations 2022. In order to promote in-country adoptions, a new provision has been made in the Adoption Regulations 2022 wherein those children who could not find families within their stipulated referral cycles are now being offered to willing resident Indians, non-resident Indians and overseas citizens of India, irrespective of their seniority. "This step has been immensely welcomed by PAPs. The first referral under the provision was run on 14.11.22 and so far 42 children have been reserved. These children would have otherwise been referred to foreign PAPs," the official said. A total of 1,800 stakeholders were covered, he said. "On the date of notification, 905 adoption orders were pending with courts. As on date the pendency has come down to 644. Total in 361 cases, adoption orders have been issued," the official said. Also, since the notification, 589 children have been adopted till today, he added. Under the amended regulations, the prospective adoptive parents can opt for their home states/region to ensure that the child and the family adjust well with each other, belonging to the same socio-cultural milieu. "The module became operational w.e.f. November 10 and since then 1,804 resident Indians, 11 NRIs, 8 Overseas Citizens of India, 28 foreigners and one case under the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act have been registered on the new module," the official said. In a bid to reduce pendency of cases, the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) has been taking pro-active efforts towards reducing pendency at the level of Child Welfare Committees enabling them to declare the legal status of children expeditiously as per the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, the WCD official said. After the regulations were notified, with intervention of CARA helpdesk, CWC pendency in 125 cases beyond six months have been cleared. Also, adoption counselling has been stipulated at pre-adoption, adoption and post-adoption levels both for older children and the adoptive parents. Counsellors are being trained with the help of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) under SAMVAD. A 12-hour helpdesk has been set up since August 1 to address the queries of PAPs and so far 5,428 calls were addressed with a humane approach in comparison to the 3,392 calls received earlier, he said. "These queries are generally related to registration, suitability of PAPs, waiting time and adoption process. Most of the PAPs were counselled and are satisfied with the resolutions provided to PAPs. This led to decline in the online grievance and complaints received which have been reduced from 800 grievances to 500 (approximately) for the month of November, 2022," he added. PTI UZM SMN

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