What is Central Adoption Resource Authority?
The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is an Autonomous Body under the Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India. Its mandate is to find a loving and caring family for every orphan/destitute/surrendered child in the country. The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) was initially set up-in 1990 under the aegis of the Ministry of Welfare. Pursuant to a decision of the Union Cabinet dated 2nd July, 1998, the then Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment conferred the autonomous status on CARA w.e.f. 18.3.1999 by registering it as a Society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. It was designated as Central Authority by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment on 17.7.2003 for the implementation of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children & Cooperation in respect of Inter-country Adoption (1993). The Ministry of Women & Child Development has of late been mandated to look after the subject matters ‘Adoption’ & Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, 2000.
In-country Adoption of Indian children is governed by In-country Guidelines and Inter-country Adoption Guidelines, 2011. These Guidelines are a follow up of various directions given by the Supreme Court of India in L.K. Pandey Vs. Union of India (WP No. 1171 of 1982 and other cases). These Guidelines are amended and updated from time to time keeping in mind the welfare of such child. While CARA is engaged in clearing inter-country adoption of Indian Children, its principal aim is to promote in-country adoption. In fact, CARA ensures that no Indian child is given for inter-country adoption without him/her having been considered by Indian families residing in India. CARA also provides financial assistance to various NGOs and Government run Homes to promote quality child care to such children and place them in domestic adoption.
What is National Policy for the Welfare of Children?
In pursuance of its constitutional mandate, the Government of India had evolved a National Policy for the Welfare of Children. The Govt. of India has evolved several programmes to ensure the betterment of children and their development in wholesome manner. The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Govt. of India has been mandated, amongst others, with the welfare of children in difficult circumstances. The rehabilitation of such children through adoption is one of the major planks of the Ministry’s policies for children. This policy keeps in mind the fact that the full and wholesome growth of a child is possible only in an atmosphere of parental love and guidance. It recognizses the family as the Central fulcrum around which both mental and physical development of a child is given full opportunity to blossom.
The National Policy for the Welfare of Children also stresses the vital role which the voluntary organizations have to play in the field of education, health, recreation and social welfare services for children and declares that it shall be the endeavour of the State to encourage and strengthen such voluntary organisations.
What is Inter-country Adoption?
The objective of the Guidelines is to provide a sound basis for inter-country adoption within the framework of the norms and principles laid down by the Supreme Court of India in the series of Judgments delivered in L.K. Pandey Vs. Union of India and Others between 1984 and 1991 and various other court orders from time to time. India had signed the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption-1993 on 9 January, 2003 and ratified the same on 6 June, 2003 with a view to strengthening International Cooperation and Protection of Indian Children placed in Inter-country adoption.
What are the Guidelines for Family Adoption of Indians Staying Abroad?
With Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption coming into force in India w.e.f. 1.10.2003, it has been obligatory for Central Adoption Resource Authority to come out with Guidelines on Family Adoptions so that children in crisis family situations are not deprived of a caring family. This guideline will be applicable for PIOs and NRIs who are habitually residing abroad have intention to adopt their relative’s child from India.
Since family adoption has to deal with families of both sides, it is mandatory for both the sides to understand the procedural requirements before initiating such proposal. The purpose is to enable a child to get a loving and caring family within his/her clan group when such placement is considered as best alternative in the given situation. Family adoption will be allowed in exceptional situations where the child to be adopted has a special situation as a result of parent’s death or adoption is thought up for certain situation benefiting families of both side without6 compromising child’s best interest.