NEW DELHI: The government is set to make crucial changes in the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act that will facilitate adoption outside India by NRIs, in line with the recent reforms it has brought to ease domestic and foreign adoptions.
The norms earlier mandated monitoring of children adopted under the Act for at least two years which meant that NRIs who adopted kids in India had to stay in the country during this period. Under the latest changes, the government has decided to do away with the norm of mandating adoptive parents to stay in India after adopting a child while also allowing the Central Adoption Resource Agency to issue NOCs in such cases, which as of now, are to be issued only by courts.
Sources in the Union Women and Child Development Ministry said a notification is set to be issued in a day or two. Adoption in India, as of now, is governed under the Juvenile Justice Act and personal law and under Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs are permitted to adopt kids.
Sources said the modification was necessitated as there was a gap between this Act and the Hague Convention, the international treaty for inter-country adoption, of which India is a member. Once the new norms are implemented, NRIs will be able to take children to their country of residence by giving a two-week notice and the process of verification will also start simultaneously in that country. Monitoring of children to assess how they are coping in their new home will be carried out by the Indian Mission in those countries.
“Adoptive parents will have to furnish all details including the address to the diplomatic mission and will need to follow the instructions for the safety of the child,” another official explained. The move comes shortly after the government modified the JJ Act to give the District Magistrate final authority on adoption.