Govt should come out with policy on adoption agencies: HC

Last Updated: Thursday, July 1, 2010 - 22:01

Mumbai: Asserting that adoption agencies
can`t be run like "corporate ventures" and babies can not be
treated as "commodities", Bombay High Court today said that
government must come out with some monitoring policy.

The division bench of Justices B H Marlapalle and A M
Mohta was hearing the petition filed by NGO Adwait Foundation
against Pune-based adoption agency Preet Mandir.

One of the allegations against Preet Mandir is that it
accepted donations from foreign parents wanting to adopt kids,
which is not permitted under the law.

During the hearing, court said: "Let`s not treat children
like pets...this was virtually run like a corporate venture.
If children are going to be treated like commodities, we
cannot talk about Indian values, Indian culture."

"Come out with some policy as to how you are going to
control the adoption agencies," the court said, adding that
number of children in need of adoption would be on the rise so
long as there was poverty, and government control was a must.

The court said that lawyers for the petitioners should
meet women and child development secretary Vandana Krishna --
who was present in the court -- and discuss this.

Krishna, in a letter written earlier to Central Adoption
Resources Authority regarding Preet Mandir, had said that
there was a "demand-supply gap" (in number of children
available for adoption and parents wanting to adopt), and
closing down Preet Mandir would be a bad idea.

Krishna had also said in the letter that if an adoption
agency was run with the motive of earning profit, it would not
be a crime, as "market has its own logic".

The court, however, disagreed with the contention,
saying, "This letter wants to convey something, but it is very
badly worded."

Krishna had said that at present, there was no
centralised data base of babies available in various adoption
agencies and about parents who want to adopt, and the
government was planning to centralise this information.

Meanwhile, lawyers appearing for Preet Mandir informed
the court that though the Central Adoption Resources Agency
had revoked its license, the decision has been stayed by
another bench of the high court.

The court said that two petitions could be clubbed and
heard together.

The hearing was later adjourned for four weeks.

PTI




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