Simplification Of Child Adoption Process In India:
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a plea that seeks to simplify the legal process involved in child adoption.
- The present adoption procedure is complex. As a result merely 4,000 adoptions happen on a yearly basis in our country.
- The ongoing pandemic has left three crore children orphaned.
- There is also an anomaly on the legislature front as adoption is being governed by the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act of 1956 which has a nodal ministry as the Ministry of Law and Justice while the aspects of Orphans are dealt with by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
- There are also concerns and loopholes wrt inter-country adoptions.
- In India, an Indian citizen or a non-resident Indian (NRI) can adopt a child under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act of 1956 and the Guardian and Wards Act of 1890.
Eligibility criteria for prospective adoptive parents:
- The prospective adoptive parents shall be physically, mentally and emotionally stable, financially capable and shall not have any life threatening medical condition.
- Any prospective adoptive parents, irrespective of his marital status and whether or not he has biological son or daughter, can adopt a child subject to following, namely:-
- the consent of both the spouses for the adoption shall be required, in case of a married couple;
- a single female can adopt a child of any gender;
- a single male shall not be eligible to adopt a girl child;
- No child shall be given in adoption to a couple unless they have at least two years of stable marital relationship.
- The minimum age difference between the child and either of the prospective adoptive parents shall not be less than twenty-five years.
- The age criteria for prospective adoptive parents shall not be applicable in case of relative adoptions and adoption by step-parent.
- Couples with three or more children shall not be considered for adoption except in case of special need children.