India Uncut

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Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Despatches 28: The problems of adoption

There has been a flood of people from all over the world who want to adopt children orphaned by this tragedy, but that isn’t as easy as it sounds. Ravishankar of AID India tells me that the government had stopped all adoption processes for affected children, and is taking the responsibilty of looking after them on itself. They are worried, and rightly so, about the process being misused and an adoption racket springing up. That could result in a terrible human-rights disaster, with a huge amount of child trafficking taking place.

“But how can the government look after the kids?” I ask. “Surely anything the government does will also be laced with ineptitude, if not corruption.”

“Well,” says Ravishankar, “that is why we want to try out an orphan resettlement program in the affected villages itself. There are many children who have lost parents, but there are also many parents who have lost children, and we want to try and bring the two together.”

It seems an ambitious thing to try and pull off, but if it works it is the perfect solution, as it does not remove the kids from their local culture. It would need monitoring, though, to ensure that such resettled children are treated well. A system and an infrastructure would need to be set up to look after the process. It’s going to be a long haul – and a tough childhood for some of these kids.
amit varma, 7:45 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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