Centre mulling changes in law to make adoption of kids by NRIs easier

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Centre is set to make crucial changes in the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act that will make adoption of kids outside India by the NRIs easier, in line with the recent reforms it has brought to ease domestic and foreign adoptions.

The norms earlier mandated monitoring of kids adopted under the Act for at least two years which meant that even NRIs who adopted kids here had to stay in the country during this period.

Under the latest changes, the government has decided to do away with the norm of mandating adoptive parents to stay in India after adopting a child while also allowing the Central Adoption Resource Agency to issue NOCs in such cases, which as of now, are to be issued only by courts.

Sources in the Union women and child development ministry said that a notification in this regard is set to be issued in a day or two.

Adoption in India, as of now, is governed under the Juvenile Justice Act and personal law, and under the HAMA, Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs are permitted to adopt kids.

Sources said that the modification was necessitated as there was a gap between this Act and the Hague Convention, the international treaty for inter-country adoption, of which India is a member.

Once the new norms are implemented, the NRIs will be able to take the kids to their country of residence by giving just two weeks’ notice and the process of verification will also start simultaneously in that country.

Importantly, monitoring of the children to assess how they are coping in their new home will be carried out by the Indian Mission in those countries.

“Adoptive parents, however, will have to furnish all the details including the address to the diplomatic mission, and will need to strictly follow the instructions for the safety of the child,” another official explained.

The move comes shortly after the Union government modified the JJ act to give the district magistrate final authority on adoption.

In India, 2,160 kids were adopted in 2020-21 including in-country and inter-country adoptions as per the government data but there have been concerns that economic slowdown over the past year, as well as high casualties during the Covid wave, would mean more children in need of adoptive families.