The pendency in the adoption of children has come down to 644 from 905 over the last two months since the new Adoption Regulations were notified and in a total of 361 cases, adoption orders have been issued.
The Rules for adoption of the Juvenile Justice Act were notified on September 23 this year. The new rules empower District Magistrates to issue adoption orders. Earlier, this power was exercised by the judiciary. The first adoption order was issued by District Magistrate, Akola, Maharashtra on October 6.
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Following the issue of the notification, over 589 children were adopted till December 5, official sources in the Ministry of Women and Child Development said.
The sources said that among the host of reforms which the Ministry has brought about are pre- and post-adoptive counselling sessions for prospective adoptive parents by counsellors trained with the help of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS).
A complete health check-up is being done through the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the child’s district before processing the adoption. So far, 159 CMOs have been registered for this.
Changes have also been made to the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System (CARINGS) online platform for adoption.
In accordance with the new rules, prospective adoptive parents can now opt from their home State or region. This has been mandated to ensure that the child and the family adjust well with each other, belonging to the same socio-cultural milieu.
After the module became operational from October 10, 1,804 Indian residents, 11 Non Resident Indians (NRI), eight Overseas Citizens of India (OCI), and 28 foreigners have been registered as prospective adoptive parents, the sources said.
In order to promote in-country adoptions, a new provision has been mandated in Adoption Regulations 2022, in which those children who could not find families within their stipulated referral cycles, are now being offered to prospective parents who are Indian residents, NRIs and OCI card holders irrespective of their seniority. These children would have otherwise been referred to prospective parents who are foreigners.
The first referral under the provision was run on November 14, and so far, 42 children have been reserved.
Changes have also been made for children with foster families. Earlier, children placed in foster care waited for five years for adoption. Now, according to the new regulations, if the child adjusts well with the foster family, it can adopt the child after two years of fostering.
Official sources said that widespread consultations had been carried out before framing the Adoption Regulations, 2022. Training and capacity building was also carried out with around 1,800 stakeholders.