`Legal adoption to ensure inheritance`

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IMPHAL, May 12: Justice Nk Koteshwor Singh of Gauhati High Court today underlined the importance of adoption of child by means of proper legal procedure under Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 or law courts so that the child is not deprived of his rights after he or she attains maturity.

Justice Koteshwor was speaking at a one-day consultation on the role of judiciary on adoption today at the conference hall of Classic Hotel, North AOC.

Jointly organized by Central Adoption Authority (CARA), New Delhi and Manipur State Legal Services Authority (MSLSA), the consultation was moderated by Dr Jaganat Pati, Joint Director, CARA.

Opening the consultation Justice Koteshwor also spoke on the demerits of illegal adoption of children, which he said caused serious disadvantages to the children, particularly at the time of claim on properties when they are often denied by families.

Adopting a child directly from nursing homes, hospitals and clinics amounts to child trafficking, he noted, adding that parents who want to adopt a child should first take the decision after thorough consultation with either the authorities of Juvenile Act or law courts.

Dr Jaganat Pati said, destitute children are known through two categories—juvenile in conflict with law, mostly under 18 involved in insurgency related crimes and others, and the other category covered children who are in need of care and protection, mostly children abandoned by parents, destitute and surrendered or handed over to orphanage homes.

The second category also covered children who have been left helpless due to social stigma and also children who were rescued from outside states, he added.

It was also mentioned that the Hindu Adoptions Maintenance Act, 1956 came into force long time ago, but proper adoption came into effect only after the enactment of Juvenile Act (Care and Protection of Children), 2000 and that the same was enforced in Manipur in less than two years later.

The introduction of JJ Act in fact mostly credited to the landmark judgment of Supreme Court on the adoption guidelines and the exhaustive judgment ultimately led to the endorsement of JJ Act, 2000.

The Act enables all to adopt a child irrespective of cast and creed.

The participants in the interactive session also acknowledged that the Act needs amendment and that the public feedbacks on the amendment issue along with the efforts of CARA are now on the path to fulfill it as the same is now under process.

As a matter of fact, initially emphasis was given on “a child for every family” as an accepted norm, but now it has instead focused on “a family for every child” because it has become a paramount interest to bring well being of a child, the participants maintained.

Besides,Dr Pati, A Guneshwor Sharma, Member Secretary, MSLSA, State police officials, representatives of various NGOs from across the state, judges, lawyers, officials among others also participated at the consultation.

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