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Most people do not understand this concept...

First of the three fundamental principles states that the adoption ought to be done in the best interest of the child. Do you know what that means to begin with?  Let’s look at the definitions first and then use a real-life example to understand it.


Sub-section (9) of section 2 of JJ Act defines it as the following:  'best interest of the child means the basis of any decision taken regarding the child, to ensure fulfilment of his basic rights and needs identity, social well-being and physical, emotional and intellectual development'.  Please understand that the first and foremost fulfilment is the rights and then comes the needs.

 

In adoption, there are three stakeholders namely the child, biological parents and the adoptive parents and the child’s best interests must prevail over and above other two other stake-holders' interests.

 

Let’s look at a real-life example to understand what this means.  Recently a Prospective Adoptive Parent (PAP) called me from South India to ask for my advice for a situation that she confronted with a Specialized Adoption Agency (SAA).  She wanted to adopt a child who is 12 years old and living under the care of SAA but North India based SAA informed the PAP that they prefer a family from the North.

 

PAP was confused not knowing if a SAA can state something like that.  After hearing her situation, I reasoned about the logic behind SAAs preference.  Child may only know the language of that particular state which PAP may not be familiar with and how does the PAP expect to communicate from day one of his/ her arrival at home?  Secondly, the child perhaps is in 6th or 7th grade and is attending a school in a local language and by adopting him/ her, child would literally be subjected to a total new language to begin with.  That can be quite challenging for anyone, leave alone to the child.  Lastly, he may not be able to communicate with the peers of his school or neighborhood which might isolate him/ her and in the worst-case scenario, he/ she might even be targets of bullies.  

Every stakeholder (SAA, Child Welfare Committee (CWC), District Child Protection Unit (DCPU), Adoption Committee) that is involved in the journey of adoption of a child is required to look at the principle of the best interest of the child to make their decisions. 

 

After hearing my explanation, PAP was convinced that this may not be the best choice of children for her to adopt and I was glad that she was able to reason it out make an informed decision. 

 

What are your thoughts?  Write in the comments section below.

 

       

 

     

 

 

 

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