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Everyone can adopt a child provided they meet criteria: CARA

In the affidavit, CARA deputy director Binod Kumar Sahu stated, "Prospective parents should be physically, emotionally and mentally stable, financially capable, motivated to adopt a child and should not have a life-threatening medical condition.

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Everyone can adopt a child provided they meet criteria: CARA
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The Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA), in its affidavit filed in the Bombay High Court on Wednesday, has refuted the allegation that gays, lesbians and the transgender can't adopt children as per the new adoption guidelines.

In the affidavit, CARA deputy director Binod Kumar Sahu stated, "Prospective parents should be physically, emotionally and mentally stable, financially capable, motivated to adopt a child and should not have a life-threatening medical condition. The application has to be processed based on these core eligibility criteria."

The affidavit has been filed in response to a petition filed by a couple and an unwed mother questioning the revised guidelines. The petitioners have challenged the online selection procedure, where, out of six children, the prospective parent or parents had to choose one, failing which they would go to the bottom of the waiting list.

With respect to the photographs of children being shown online, the affidavit refuted that it violates provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act/Rules. It stated that the purpose of photo-listing is to enable prospective parents to see the child/children only when the latter are referred to them online, otherwise the photograph is not accessible to the general public. Strict safeguards are put in place to preserve the children's confidentiality.

The affidavit also denied the allegation of the system being an online baby shopping system, adding that it has brought in more transparency and worked towards eliminating drawbacks in the earlier system, where couples were solely dependent on the adoption agency for getting a referral. The online system is intended to facilitate early rehabilitation of children, making the process child-centric, it said.

The affidavit also said NRIs and Indian citizens are now treated on par in terms of priority for receiving referral of an Indian child. Online adoption is intended to provide more effective regulation of adoption of orphaned, abandoned, and surrendered children, thereby minimising delay, it added.

The Federation of Adoption Agencies in Maharashtra also filed an intervention application, saying it was opposed to the online procedure of intra and inter-country adoptions because not many may be familiar with the technology.

The HC has now posted the matter for hearing on December 21.

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