A Home For You: Foster Care In India | ayeyouth.com

Foster Care and Adoption are two of the words that are familiar to almost every person in the country.

Foster care refers to the temporary care that a child is put into with their guardians or caretakers that are checked and certified by the state.

Every child deserves to have a home and a family, hence keeping in mind the best interest for the child and setting the priorities straight, the responsibilities for foster care and adoption is permitted.

According to the Times of India, in India, the circumstances related to adoption, custody, and guardianship are governed by personal laws. The Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 is a secular law, dealing with the issue of guardianship and custody irrespective of the religion claimed by the child or parents.

However, in case of conflict between the personal and secular law the Supreme Court has reiterated Article 3 of the UNCRC (The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) which states that “In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration”.

In 1990, CARA (Central Adoption Resource Authority) a statutory body of the Ministry of Women & Child Development, established by the Government of India to regulate and monitor intra as well as inter-country adoptions. This mainly looks after the adoption of orphan, abandoned, and surrendered children.

Foster Care is still an uprising matter in India, it is mostly taken up by the large families, the main reason is that the majority of India lived in villages where ties of understanding were very strong and a joint family system ensured that children were always raised in large family setups.

However, post industrialization and urbanization, there was a huge migration towards cities and this had led to a division of the joint family into smaller units, hence turning child care as an issue, as we were faced with children who needed care and attention.

Another reason was the lack of religious validation for fosterage.

For the majority of the population in India, who are Hindus, fosterage has no religious significance. This was because unlike adoption, fosterage confers no rights or obligations upon the child. An adopted child is considered equivalent to a natural-born child for the purpose of inheritance and succession of the family’s name.

Therefore, adoption of a male child, by childless couples or those having only daughters, was widespread because a man was believed to achieve salvation only when the last rites were performed by a son.

Also in most of the towns and villages, abandonment of child right after the birth was slowly taking a common turn with people making it as a means of income; which was utterly wrong from every legal perspective.

It’s a risk that is taken upon the future of the child.

Every child is important, every single one of them is the tomorrow of the country, they need love, care, nurtured from the heart, and should be protected at all cost; not taken as a means of income or made part of illegal dealings.

It was only after the 2006 Amendment that our Juvenile Justice Law acknowledged the distinction between Juvenile in conflict with the law and Children in Need of Care and Protection.

Then in Section 44 of the JJ (Juvenile Justice) Act, 2015 delivered the placement of a child in a foster family and also the selection of the foster family strictly based on the family’s ability, intention, capacity, and prior experience of taking care of children. 

According to the sources based on the Child Rights Law, chapter 6 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016 has detailed rules relating to foster care in India. And next, rule 23 states that the District Child Protection Unit shall be the nodal authority for the implementation of a foster care program in that district.

Furthermore, rule 44 displays/states the following categories of adoptable children who may be considered for foster care.

  • Children between 6-8 years of age are not adopted for two years.

  • Children between 8-18 years of age remaining un-adopted for one year.

  • Children with special needs, irrespective of their age, remaining un-adopted for one year.

  • Children whose parents are terminally ill and have submitted a request to the Committee or the District Child Protection Unit for taking care of their child as they are unable to take care of their child.

  • Children identified by DCPU (District Child Protection Unit) through PO(NIC)

  • Whose parents are mentally ill and are unable to take care of the child

  • Whose one or both parents are held in by the law; incarcerated

  • Who have been victims of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, natural disasters, and domestic violence.

There are few circumstances where sentiments involve during adoption or foster care, regarding twin children or siblings, it should be taken into account that separations whilst placement of these children might result in them being upset, hence they should be taken into the same home. But it doesn’t end here, the family is a very important component of a person’s life, and some, unfortunately, miss out on it.

So, there comes the need to access the programs that supplement a caring, safe environment for personal growth.

Children need stability during the period of growth, it’s what shapes them and their future, it should not be taken lightly when it comes to the care and safety of a child, there are many of the children who are still not under the system’s notice to be placed in a warm place and many of the non-governmental organizations that have come up to help provide for these children but lack proper funding, it is lawfully important to help the small organizations come up with better facilities to help those who need it.

Also the present situation of Covid-19 pandemic had contributed in the crisis of supplement distribution for such organizations.

Given below are some of the specialized adoption agencies and NGO run children homes from the state of Assam, India that is approved and issued by the Social Welfare under govt. of Assam and established by the state government or the non-governmental organizations, recognized under section 65, from different districts of Assam.

  1. SOS Children Village, Guwahati

  2. Students Welfare Mission, Dibrugarh

  3. Shape, Sivsagar

  4. Prerona NGO, Bongaigaon

  5. Nichima Orphanage Home, Chirang

  6. Pherenga Dao, Udalguri

These foundations take care of the abandoned or the orphaned children, starting from the basic teachings to daily life activities.

When sending out a child for adoption or for the foster care, they do a proper inspection prior to the process as sometimes casualty while inspection can lead to placement of the children under an inappropriate roof, that can be harmful to the children; physically and mentally, which can be of harm for the lifelong period.

Though certain rooted consents need to be taken by these foundations, like if the parents coming for the care or adoption are married, then consent from both the partners are needed, next if it is a single woman then she can adopt both boy child and the girl child, while in case of a single male they can only adopt a boy child.

Every step taken by the foundations before giving out the child is given by the law, prioritizing the safety and wellness of the child, it is a long process before the final permission is granted for a go, but it is needed, for every child is very much important and protecting them is our responsibility.

#fosterhome #orphan #orphanage #ayeouth #youmatter

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