India: More than 1,000 children exported annually for inter-country adoptions, and yet ....... Print E-mail

‘Adoption Bill gathers dust’

Hyderabad, Oct. 29: Justice B.N. Srikrishna of the Supreme Court said there was urgent need for legislation on inter-country adoptions, which was becoming a major socio-economic problem. He said this while taking part in a panel discussion on inter-country adoption organised by Save the Children, a non-governmental organisation.

The Law Commission’s recommendation for passing an inter-country Adoption Bill in Parliament was gathering dust. It had to be revived and implemented in full spirit to prevent illegal foreign adoptions, he said. He wondered why the buck was always passed on to the Supreme Court to solve such social issues. “Whether it is adoption, environmental problems, dowry cases or Sati —every issue comes up before Supreme Court,” he said. However, there were several socio-economic issues which a Supreme Court judge was not competent to solve, he pointed out.

Justice Srikishna blamed legislatures for failing to provide a concrete solution to the problems related to adoption. “Parliament has withdrawn the Adoption Bill three times in the past, for unknown reasons,” he said. Noted social activist Geeta Ramaswamy said that every year, more than 1,000 children were being sent out of the country on adoption. It was not just a socio-economic issue, but also an emotive issue, she pointed out.

Separating the children from the mother forcefully and sending them to foreign lands also caused psychological problems. “They sometimes come back to search for their parents,” she said. “They undergo tremendous stress because of their fear of being rejected and because of their being caught between two cultures.” Arun Dohle, who was adopted by a couple from Germany, and who is presently in India, described his futile search for his mother. “I could not trace my mother, but I have developed a great love for India,” he said. Justice K. Chalameshwar of AP High Court presided over the panel discussion.