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Govt: In adoption cases health status of biological parents can be shared only if their "privacy" is not violated

Ambika Pandit / TNN / Feb 9, 2024, 06:27 IST



The Indian government has clarified that the health status of biological parents should only be disclosed to prospective adoptive parents if it does not violate their privacy. The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) considered conflicting opinions from AIIMS and NIMHANS on the matter and decided to follow NIMHANS' opinion.



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NEW DELHI: Clearing the air on whether the health status of  the biological parent of a child placed in the adoption pool should be disclosed to prospective adoptive parents, the government has said that such information may only be shared if it “does not violate the privacy of the biological parents”.


The steering committee of the Central Adoption Resource Authority under the ministry of women and child development at its meeting last month took into consideration two conflicting opinions received from AIIMS and NIMHANS on the matter by CARA and finally after a “detailed discussion” decided to go with the the opinion offered by the latter.


The matter was placed on the agenda for opinion, as CARA has been receiving requests from stakeholders for providing guidance over disclosing health status of biological parents to PAPs, be it HIV positive or mental instability/illness. “Moreover, it has also been observed that in the case of a surrendered child, where the health status of biological parents is disclosed in the child study report (CSR), PAPs are not accepting the child,” it is cited in the minutes of the meeting available in the public domain on the CARA website.


CARA received two conflicting views on the matter. “The expert from AIIMS is of the opinion that complete information about the mother's status should be furnished as it is legally  required to do so. On the other hand, NIMHANS representative has stated that such information may only be shared if it does not violate the privacy of the biological parents,” said the minutes of the meeting. The steering committee in its decision concluded that following discussions in detail, the opinion  of NIMHANS has been approved..


The adoption regulations deal with the issue of ‘background information of the biological parent’. The 2022 regulations address the issue in the section on information regarding the social background of a child. It states that "do not give identifying information about the natural parent". Social background should include a child's social history which can be a brief background about the birth parents and circumstances necessitating the child's surrender or abandonment. However, “identifying information such as the name and address of birth parents or relatives is prohibited”.




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