Covid is leaving kids orphaned but adoption pleas are illegal | India News

Covid is leaving kids orphaned but adoption pleas are illegal | India News
In the midst of cries for oxygen, hospital beds and emergency drugs on social media, a desperate appeal that stopped people in their thumb scrolling tracks a fortnight ago was a message urging families to adopt two girls — one aged three days and another six months — with the claim that they had lost their parents recently to Covid. “Please help these kids get a new life, spread the word,” urged the post that quickly went viral.
Such emotional pleas for adoption of children orphaned by the virus have surfaced over the past few days. And though these forwards may be well intentioned, the request is unlawful and could even put a child in danger of being sold or trafficked.
“Stop. This is illegal. Adoption requires a due process and is the last option after all other care options to have children rehabilitated within their families are exhausted,” wrote Tannistha Datta, child protection specialist of Unicef India.
Illegal adoption can land you in jail for 5 years
Also, adoption is a legal issue, not something for WhatsApp groups to deal with. There are serious risks here of trafficking and malintention, Dutta added, trying to alert people on social media.
Datta’s fears weren’t unfounded. “Something didn’t seem right about the age difference between the kids if they were siblings,” said Vijay Doiphode, chairperson, Child Welfare Committee (CWC), Mumbai who tried calling the number several times. “It rang out. We’re not sure of the genuineness of the case. A lot of rumours are coming our way.”
“And if people fall for these rumours, they too can be trapped in human rights violation,” warned Vasudeva Sharma, former chairman of CWC and nodal director for Childline, Bangalore. Under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, offering or receiving children outside the legal processes as well as their sale and purchase are acts punishable with three to five years in jail or Rs 1 lakh in fine.

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