Adoption continues undeterred by pandemic in district

The pandemic seems to have had little bearing on adoption in the district, with 24 children having been adopted till November.

This was equal to the total number of adoptions last year. A majority of adopted children were in the 0-to-four age group, and one child was adopted by a single parent from outside the State.

The pandemic has, however, forced the District Adoption Committee to shift its meeting to Google Meet. “The window for document verification and meeting between adopting parents and the potential adoptee has been extended from the previous 20 to 30 days in view of the pandemic,” said M.K.P. Hafzeena, protection officer (non-institutional care) District Child Protection Unit.

It helped that the Ministry of Women and Child Development had shifted the adoption procedure online long before the pandemic, with applications having to be submitted over the portal of the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA).

Parents interested in adopting children will have to register online with CARA and submit a set of eight documents within 30 days, failing which their registration will be cancelled so as their all-India seniority that kicks in with the registration.

“In Kerala, adopting parents should have an annual income of not less ₹2.50 lakh, while the State has also set police clearance certificate as an additional eligibility criterion,” said Ms. Hafzeena.

Orphaned-abandoned-surrendered (OAS) category children are available for adoption, subject to clearance from the Child Welfare Committees (CWC) concerned.

“In Ernakulam and in the State in general, children surrendered by their biological parents more or less constitute the entire adoptions. Previously, such parents had only a 60-day window for revoking their decision to surrender. But now, they can get it revoked through a family court even after that, in which case the adoption, even if approved by then, stands cancelled,” said Ms. Hafzeena.

In the case of orphaned and abandoned children, the CWCs concerned declare them legally free for adoption after none claims them within a specific period after publishing their pictures in the media and the police submit a report to that effect.

Parents with a composite age of up to 90 years can adopt children in the 0-to-4 age group, whereas those with a combined age of between 90 and 100 years and 100 and 110 years are eligible to adopt children in the age group of four to eight and eight to 18 years respectively.

“Children in the similar age group are available for adoption to single parents aged 45, 50, and 55 respectively. While single mothers can adopt both boys and girls, single fathers can adopt only boys,” Ms. Hafzeena said.

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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 6:07:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/adoption-continues-undeterred-by-pandemic-in-district/article33261109.ece

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