Fast-track adoptions in special cases

If you are a parent keen on adopting a child but are headed for a long-term assignment out of the country , or are willing to adopt a special needs child or a sick child but do not meet the age criteria, or if your biological child has died in an accident or sickness, your wait could be shortened. The ministry of women and child development (WCD) has outlined certain “special circumstances” that will allow prospective parents to “jump” the queue.

Applications for these cases will be scrutinised by a committee headed by the Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) chairperson, which will include representatives from AIIMS and Cara.New adoption guidelines came into effect from August 1. Among the changes brought under the guidelines is that all adoption agencies must be registered with Cara and all children adopted through an online process. However, the procedure for adoption continues to be excruciatingly slow, lasting over two years in some cases.

“The exceptions were put in place to ensure that we have a hu manitarian approach to the adoption process. Even as we try and expedite the process for everyone, there may be genuine cases where parents are unable to wait. In some exceptional circumstances, we will consider their applications out of turn,” a senior official said. The changes came into effect earlier this month.

Among the exceptions is allowing prospective parents’ age norm to be waived. Under the guidelines, to adopt a child up to 4 years of age, the composite age of the parents must be 90 years or below where the maximum age of one parent is 45 years. If the child is between 4-8 years, the compos ite age is 100 years with an individual parent’s age not more than 50 years while for a child above 8 years, the composite age muadoptionst be below 110 years with a single parent not more than 55 years. This can be waived off in case the parents want to adopt a child with special needs, or a very sick child or one who is above 5 years and is adopted with hisher siblings.

The committee is also likely to look at long pending cases sympathetically, where, for instance, children have not been adopted despite over 10 referrals, where parents have been waiting for over three years but were registered with the wrong agency .

Source: Times of India 30 Dec’2015