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Indian private adoption agency closes

Tightening of rules and preferential treatment to government facilities has lead to closures of Indian adoption agencies

Times of India

Adoption agency Ashraya to shut shop


BANGALORE: Too many regulations and red tape is forcing closure of many private adoption agencies in the city.

Ashraya, a Bangalore-based adoption agency which found home for nearly 3,000 children, is shutting shop on December 31. Many may follow suit.

Sources say that what used to be a one-to-three-month exercise to facilitate adoption has gone up to two years even, thanks to the lengthy procedure.

Regulated by norms laid down by the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) under the Union ministry of women and child development, the private adoption homes of late do not get children. CARA primarily deals with adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children through its associated /recognized adoption agencies. Orphaned children are instead routed through government-run homes to the prospective parents, thereby giving the private adoption centres a miss.

Karnataka boasts of 32 adoption centres, with three being government homes located one each at Gulbarga, Hubli and Bangalore. In the city, there are nine private adoption homes, six of which facilitate inter-country adoptions.

As on date, any adoption agency facilitating in-country and inter-country adoptions needs to obtain five different licences from the Centre. While all this takes time, each child who is up for adoption has to go through a strenuous ordeal of waiting for official formalities to get over before the child finally gets to go home.

"The government is not helping our cause. With new regulations being introduced at each level, the checks and balances are manifold thereby interfering with our work," said Nomita Chandy, one of the founding members of Ashraya. The group has recently filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking a relook at the whole system of adoption in the country.

"All efforts must be in the direction of hastening the adoption process in the country. But it is in a constant state of flux," said Aloma Lobo, chairperson of the Adoption Co-ordination Agency of Karnataka.

Ashraya has till date facilitated 1,000 inter-country and close to 2,000 in-country adoptions. In the period April 2009 to March 2010, 200 odd children were given in domestic adoption in the state. As many as 48 children were adopted by nationals of other countries.

Ashraya is currently home to ten special needs children, each of whose adoption is being processed. It will close operations after these ten are successfully placed with their adoptive families.

"What surprises me is that the government homes have sub-standard facilities for children and there is zero accountability. Yet they are being handed over with the responsibility of managing children," said an insider. "Add to that the instances of baby swap at government hospitals and the many rackets out of many shady government-run and government-aided hospitals," he added


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