Frame rules and regulations for child adoption, says SC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the central and state governments to frame required rules and regulations governing in-country and inter-country adoption of children under the existing laws.

While asking the central government to frame model rules to deal with various situations as spelt out under section 110 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 till state governments frame their rules, the bench of Chief Justice T.S.Thakur, Justice R.Banumathi and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit said that the Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) would frame regulation for in-country and inter-country adoption of children.

While noting that during the pendency of the petition, the legislation has been enacted, the court said: “The interest of children, whether it is intra-country or inter-country adoptions, has to be protected. The process of adoption has to be transparent. It should ensure welfare of the child.”

It asked CARA to frame regulation under section 68 of the act, under which the agency is mandated to regulate in-country and inter-country adoptions and to facilitate inter-state adoptions in co-ordination with the state agency, and to carry out the functions of the Central Authority under the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in respect of inter-country Adoption.

Besides several other aspects, the section 110 under which the central and state governments have to frame rules governing the child adoption, provides for the manner of inquiry that would be conducted in respect of missing children or run away children whose parents can’t be traced, responsibilities of the child welfare officer attached to a Children’s Home and the process of restoration of abandoned or lost children to their families.

Section 110 also provides for the manner in which a child may be sent to a specialised adoption agency if below six years of age, children’s home or to a fit facility or person or foster family, till suitable means of rehabilitation are found for the child – in a children’s home or with a fit facility or person or foster family, as reviewed by the Child Welfare Committee.

While refusing to keep the PIL by NGO Adavit Foundation on board and disposing it off, the apex court permitted it to make representation before the central government and CARA on the framing of rules and regulations and the same would be considered by them while framing the model rules and regulations.

While declining to pass a general order for a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into alleged malpractices in the adoption process as sought by the NGO, the bench allowed it to move the court pointing to the specific instance of wrong doings in inter-country and in-country adoption.

Advait Foundation had alleged that in the absence of the rules and regulations, the rights of children for adoption or those going missing were being violated and adoption racket was going in breach of statutory provisions.