Adopted children `should know their status early'

Special Correspondent

Adoption is something you must be proud of: CARA chief

VELLORE: Parents who adopt children should divulge the truth about their adoption at the earliest opportunity to avoid serious psychological disturbances on coming to know of their status in their adolescence, according to Aloma Lobo, chairperson of the Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA), Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

Delivering the keynote address at a seminar on "Adoption" organised jointly by the Christian Medical College and The Hope House, an orphanage, at the CMC Hospital here on Tuesday, Dr. Lobo said, "adoption is something you must be proud of and not hide". As per the Government of India's revised guidelines for in-country adoptions, anyone, single or married, having/not having biological or adopted children can adopt Indian children, subject to the condition that the composite age of the prospective parents did not exceed 90 years, that neither of the parent had crossed 45 years of age, and a minimum average monthly income of Rs.3,000. Parents desirous of adopting children should register with an Adoption Coordination Agency (ACA), recognised by the CARA, she said.

Saroja Thiruvengadam, District Social Welfare Officer, said that every orphaned child should live in a family, and adoptions provide opportunities to achieve this goal. But, there was lack of awareness among couples desirous of adopting children about the procedures. Many mothers, who have unwanted pregnancies, abandon the children in the hospitals or elsewhere. She appealed to police officers the hospital authorities, and the general public, to inform the Child Welfare Committee, about the presence of abandoned children. The department has recognised 22 homes in Tamil Nadu as fit for giving children in adoption. Adoptive parents can be charged up to Rs.15,000 for taking children in adoption, in addition to the processing fees.

Ruby Nakka, Director of The Hope House, appealed to private organisations to follow the Central rule which grants leave for 135 days to a woman employee adopting a child, on par with the maternity leave given to working women.

He appealed to the State Government to extend the Girl Child Protection Scheme to the adopted girl children as well.