361 adoptions within two months of amended JJ Act

In fact, it was through the ministry’s push that hard to place children were also adopted, with 42 such children finding safe homes.
Image used for representational purpose only. (Express Illustrations)
Image used for representational purpose only. (Express Illustrations)

NEW DELHI: Of the 905 adoption cases pending with the various courts in the country, as many as 361 adoption orders have been issued in just two months since the amended Juvenile Justice Act (JJ Act), 2015 was notified in September, officials said on Tuesday.

The amended JJ Act, which shifted the power to issue adoption orders from the courts to the district magistrate, helped fast-track the adoption procedure from over three years to two months, officials of the Women and Child Development Ministry (WCD) added.

“There were 905 adoption orders pending with the court on September 23; now, it has come down to 644. A total of 361 adoption orders have been issued,” the official said, adding that constant efforts are being made to reduce the pendency of adoption orders, keeping in mind the welfare of the children.

After the notification was issued on September 23, a total of 589 children have been adopted till today.In fact, it was through the ministry’s push that hard to place children were also adopted, with 42 such children finding safe homes.

According to the ministry, there are around 28,000 prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) looking to adopt while there are around 2,500 children who are legally free — no one is available to look after them - for adoption. Children placed in foster care by Child Welfare Committees (CWC) used to wait for five years for adoption. Now, the new regulations provide that if the child adjusts well with the foster family, the foster family can adopt the child after two years of fostering.

The official said intensive interactions were made with all district magistrates (DMs), CWCs, district child protection units and specialised adoption agencies and chief medical officers after the notification of Adoption Regulations 2022 in September.

To promote in-country adoptions, a new provision has been made in the Adoption Regulations 2022 under which 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 prospective adoptive parents. 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,” officials said.

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 from 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 proactive efforts.

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The New Indian Express