Government to rehabilitate children orphaned due to COVID-19
(Sourced from PTI)
The government has laid out a procedure to rehabilitate children who lost their parents to COVID-19. The public notice by the Women and Child Development Ministry comes amid reports that several messages offering orphaned children for adoption are circulating on social media. The ministry has advised the public to refrain from engaging or encouraging such action, which is in contravention to legal provisions.
The ministry said that the orphaned child should be produced before the District Child Welfare Committee (CWC) within 24 hours, excluding the journey time. "The CWC shall ascertain the immediate need of the child and pass appropriate orders for rehabilitation, either to restore the child to caregivers or place him/her in institutional or non-institutional care, on a case-to-case basis," the WCD Ministry said.
Efforts will be made to sustain the children in their family and community environment as far as possible while ensuring their safety, as prescribed under the Juvenile Justice Act. "If the child is restored to any kind of kinship care, the CWC will continue to check the well-being of the child on a regular basis," the WCD Ministry said.
To ensure the credibility of the family, the ministry has asked the state governments to use digital platforms for interaction in exceptional cases where physical interaction is not possible in current circumstances due to COVID-19-related restrictions. The ministry also said that information about any child who has lost both parents can be shared with CHILDLINE (1098).
"The local childline unit will help produce the child before the CWC within 24 hours and it will also assist the CWC in monitoring the well-being of the child as and when required," the notice stated. The ministry said persons wishing to adopt orphaned children may approach Central Adoption Resource Authority (cara.nic.in) for lawful adoptions.