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States’ dilly-dallying on adoption cases irk Maneka

The minister has written to all the Chief Ministers expressing her dissatisfaction on the functioning of Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) in the states. 

According to the Central Adoption Resource Authority system, before a child is made available for adoption, it has to be declared “legally free for adoption” by the respective Child Welfare Committees. Child Welfare Committees have been constituted in almost all districts of the country and they are supposed to look after all the cases of child protection including  cases of adoption. 

A comprehensive review of the pendency in cases of children waiting to be declared legally free by the CWCs was done by the ministry and it was found that a total of 1,811 cases are pending across the nation.

“There are 1,811 cases pending out of which maximum are in Maharashtra. The WCD minister expressed deep concern over the fact that more than half cases were pending for four months and around 470 cases were pending for more than one year,” said a ministry official.  

A total of 439 cases is pending in Maharasthra, 151 cases in Madhya Pradesh, 132 cases in Tamil Nadu, 176 cases in West Bengal, 126 cases in Uttar Pradesh whereas 107 adoption cases are pending in Delhi. 

The revised adoption guidelines, notified by the Ministry under the Juvenile Justice Act, prescribe strict timelines within which all the steps required to be taken for placing a child with a family are to be completed. These timelines are to be followed by all agencies involved including CWCs, State Adoption agencies, Child Care institutions, Courts among others. 

Gandhi also personally spoke to the state Women and Child Development ministers and asked them to dispose pending cases by the respective CWCs within a fortnight. 

While reviewing the position, she stated that this work should actually be done in a ‘no-delay mode’ by the CWC so that the children can be declared legally free and are placed with a family through the adoption process of CARA.
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