From a Correspondent
Tezpur, Dec 28: A two-day long awareness programme organized to create an opinion against illegal adoption was held under the aegis of the District Child Protection Unit and in association with State Child Protection Society, Assam, and supported by UNICEF concluded at the District Library here.
The programme began with a rally which was flagged off by District Social Welfare Officer, Samsera Hazarika and was taken out throughout the town. It was followed by an awareness meeting. Presided over by Sonitpur District Social Welfare Officer, Kakeswar Sharma, the programme was graced by the member of District Child Welfare Committee and master trainer of Adoption, Abha Bora, Child Protection Officer (Institutiol), Poppy Das, ADC, Sonitpur, Kulen Sharma, secretary, North Assam Handicapped Association, Utpal Bhuyan, and other dignitaries.
Speaking on the occasion, Abha Bora spoke about the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 which states the restrictions on adoption of children from various sources like hospitals and nursing homes. Pointing out certain eligibility criteria for prospective adoptive parents, the noted child protection activist further stated that to adopt a child, parents had to be physically, mentally, emotiolly and economically sound.
“Single father cannot adopt a female child while a single mother can adopt any gender. Parents maintaining sound relation for two years or more between them are eligible for adopting a child,” she said, adding that according to this Act, for adoption consent from both mother and father was a must. Moreover, parents having more than four children cannot adopt a child.
Mentioning some other points related to the issue, she urged the authority concerned to be sensitive enough in this regard so that one could not go for adoption according to his own will, thereby violating the law. From North Assam Handicapped Association, Utpal Bhuyan in his speech said that such programmes should not remain confined within the town areas, rather they should spread to the rural areas where such incidents take place more often. Expressing dissatisfaction over non-cooperation from the health department towards this issue, Utpal Bhuyan said that without a joint effort, success of this kind of programme was not possible.
Meanwhile, on the sideline of the programme, interacting with this correspondent, Poppy Das, Child Protection Officer (Institutiol) said that for adopting a child one had to apply online under Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA). Other dignitaries present in the meeting too spoke on the issue.
Earlier, on the first day of the programme, a leaflet distribution-cum-publicity campaign programme was held during which organizers distributed leaflets in all the hospitals, nursing homes, police stations, Block Development offices and Tezpur Medical College in Sonitpur district to create awareness among the people on the issue.