With no permanent mechanism for inter-country adoption under the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act (HAMA), the Delhi High Court has directed the Ministry of Women and Child Development to bring a report on the issue in two months while directing the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) to act on the above-mentioned law for the duration.
On Tuesday, Justice Pratibha Singh ordered that for inter-country adoption to take place under HAMA and a NOC is required for any purpose- including for passport issuance or visa- a special committee would be formed to check the specifics as soon an application is filed before CARA.
“The Committee would then record its satisfaction and issue the NOC within one month. CARA would also be entitled to monitor the progress of the child for two years from the date of arrival of the adopted child in the receiving country,” reads the order, as quoted by The Indian Express.
As per Advocate Anil Malhotra, a specialist on the subject, adoptions in India take place under two laws — Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, which is applicable to Hindus, and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, is secular law.
The Adoption Regulations, 2017, were framed under the Juveline Justice Act, specifying a detailed procedure for adoptions and CARA as a central authority under the JJ Act regulates inter-country adoptions, Malhotra told.
“CARA grants NOC to the adoptive parents, who wish to take the child out of India. However, in cases of adoptions under HAMA, which are not governed by the JJ Act, CARA only certifies the adoption to have taken place as per the Hague Adoption Convention 1993,” he continued, adding that the 1993 convention calls for approval from a central authority.
While passing the order, Justice Singh pointed out that a clear mechanism to enable inter-country adoptions is needed under HAMA and that there was a clear gap in the area. “The Hague Convention recognises HAMA adoptions under Article 37 but also stipulates acquiring of a NOC from the Central Authority in case of inter-country adoptions. Thus, in India, a framework would have to be put in place to enable issuance of a NOC in respect of inter-country adoptions which are validly undertaken under the provisions of HAMA,” reads the order.