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19k kids in shelter homes, TN tops list with 1.5k: Govt to SC

Dhananjay.Mahapatra / Apr 22, 2024, 04:01 IST

New Delhi: Union govt has informed Supreme Court 18,807 orphaned, abandoned and surrendered children are awaiting adoption in child care institutions (CCIs) across  India of which nearly 8,800 children have no visitation from their parents.

In Nov, SC asked additional solicitor general Aishwarya Bhati to personally ensure compilation of data on children in CCIs in every district.

Centre in its affidavit told SC Tamil Nadu CCIs housed the largest number of such children at 1,541, followed by J&K (1,035), Maharashtra (1,007), UP (850), Odisha (809), Rajasthan (685), and West Bengal (423).

A question before SC, which is attempting to speed up and smoothen the adoption process under Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), is whether adoptions under the  Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act (HAMA) can be brought under the supervision of CARA, which at present monitors adoptions under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection  of Children) Act.

Opposing the oft-repeated suggestion, Centre said, “HAMA and JJ Act are separate legal frameworks governing adoption. While HAMA is a personal law, JJ Act is a secular and progressive law. HAMA specifically deals with adoption within the Hindu community and provides guidelines and procedures for Hindu families wishing to adopt. JJ Act applies to all children, irrespective of their religion or background, who are in need of care and protection.”

Between 2021 and 2024, there were 10,875 adoptions under JJ Act and 19,424 under HAMA, Centre said.

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