Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA)
GS PAPER II: Functions and Responsibilities of the Union and the States, Issues and Challenges Pertaining to the Federal Structure, Devolution of Powers and Finances up to Local Levels and Challenges Therein.
Context: The Supreme Court has directed the States and Union Territories (UTs) to take stringent action against private individuals and NGOs who invite people to illegally adopt children orphaned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- It ordered the government to step in and prevent private entities from revealing the identities of COVID-19 affected children, usually on social media, and inviting people to adopt them.
- The State Governments/Union Territories are directed to prevent any NGO from collecting funds in the names of the affected children by disclosing their identity and inviting interested persons to adopt them.
- No adoption of affected children should be permitted contrary to the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015.
- Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) involvement is must, a statutory body under the Women and Child Development Ministry.
- The court said lack of knowledge about the rights of children under the Juvenile Justice Act had led to many falling victim to efforts at illegal adoption, etc.
- Invitation to persons for adoption of orphans is contrary to law as no adoption of a child can be permitted without the involvement of CARA.
- Stringent action shall be taken by the State Governments/Union Territories against agencies/individuals who are responsible for indulging in this illegal activity.
- The court ordered the States/ Union Territories to continue with their efforts to identify children in need of care and protection after March 2020 and upload their details on the NCPCR database in order to provide them welfare schemes.
- The court said these children should be tracked down through the District Child Protection Officers (DCPOs), childline, health officials, panchayati raj institutions, police authorities, NGOs, etc.
About Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA)
- Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is a statutory body of Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India.
- It functions as the nodal body for adoption of Indian children and is mandated to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoptions.
- CARA is designated as the Central Authority to deal with inter-country adoptions in accordance with the provisions of the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, 1993, ratified by Government of India in 2003.
- CARA primarily deals with adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children through its associated /recognised adoption agencies.