Indian diplomatic missions abroad will now be in charge of safeguarding adopted children whose parents move overseas with the child within two years of adoption. The Centre on August 23 has notified new rules in this regard. So far, the Indian missions abroad had a role in inter-country adoption of Indian children limited to children adopted by Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) or foreign parents.
The Missions had a duty to ensure protection against neglect, maltreatment, exploitation or abuse of these children. But a grey area got left out in case of Indian children adopted by parents in India, but who ended up moving abroad later, hence going out of the purview of Indian authorities and also not falling under purview of Indian Missions abroad. Some such cases came to the attention of the authorities recently.
The Centre has now notified new regulations, the Adoption (First Amendment) Regulations, 2021, which come into force immediately. Under the new rules, it has been specified that if the adoptive parents move with the child to some other country within two years of adoption, it shall be the responsibility of the Indian Mission of the country to which the child has moved, to perform all the assigned duties under the Adoption Regulations, 2017 in respect of the adopted child.
Not just this, the adoptive parents will also have to intimate the Indian diplomatic missions concerned in the country of departure and arrival, at least two weeks in advance through a written communication with their full contact details at the new place and thereafter, as per the new rules.
The new amendments have been made by the Central Adoption Resource Authority and have been notified on August 23 by the Woman and Child Development Ministry.
The Indian diplomatic missions presently send progress reports of an adopted child on quarterly basis in the first year and on six-monthly basis in the second year, from the date of arrival of the child in the receiving country. The Missions are also expected to contact the central authority or other authorities in the receiving countries to ensure safeguards of children of Indian origin adopted by Non-Resident Indian or Overseas Citizens of India or foreign parents.
In case of disruption of adoption, the foreign missions shall send a report in this regard at the earliest, and render necessary help and facilitate the repatriation of the child in case required.