Gaps in counseling to adoptive parents, result in the return of children to the agencies. Experts say, parents, as well as children, need to be counseled for the adoption.
May 28, 2021 Sudeept Singh
Bhubaneshwar: The gaps in counseling in the pre and post-adoption gave rise to the cases of returned in the child adoption process. The social workers and counselors, who were working with non-government organizations(NGOs) in the field noticed the cases they were facing. The social workers seek information about the number of the failed adoption.
According to the nodal adoption body CARA, the data showed most adopted children returned in the year 2014-2015. The total of adoptions was 4,362 while 387 children were returned back the same year. In the year 2016-2017, a total of 3,788 adopted children 195 were returned back, while in the year 2017-18 the numbers were 3927 to 153, who was returned back by the adoptive parents. In the year 2018-19, a total of the 4027 children, 133 adopted children were returned back by the adoptive parents.
According to the CARA statistics, over 3300 children were adopted each year since 2016. Over 1000 children adopted were returned to the child care institutions in the past five years by their adoptive parents according to the nodal adoption body of CARA. According to the data, among the states as Maharashtra (273), Madhya Pradesh (92), Odisha (88), and Karnataka (60), showed the highest number of children which were returned back in the last five years.
In the beginning, the parents needed to visit the local adoption agencies to go through the adoption process. Parents could deal directly with the children and the paperwork is coordinated by the specialized adoption agency SAA. Earlier the representatives from the SAA of the adopted child were responsible for the visit to the adoptive parents. The evaluation involved a report where the representatives ensured the feasible conditions for the adoptions to continue. The report includes the financial stability, mental stability, and the motive for adoption by the parents. This process helped the parents to think and decide for the adoption of the child.
The new system in 2015 was set up with the aim to increase transparency and grow communication among the adoptive parents and the childcare institutions. The online portal gives them access to adoptive parents to a legal central list of the children. This adoption list is for the adoption states across India which give provides them with the national waiting list.
The adoption of the child ends up in dissolution or disruption. In January 2017, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 had a set of regulations for the adoption which came into effect. Cara clearly defined the terms, ‘disruption’ and ‘dissolution’. Disruption refers to the circumstance when the adoption process is stopped after the child is placed in the adoptive home but before the adoption is finalized legally. The term dissolution means adoption is ended after the legal finalization.
Health concerns of children
Dr.Rama Krishna, Child Specialist at NALCO said that the parents need counseling too. There are also many cases where it is difficult for the child to leave the child care and move into a family, where the child develops a bond with the caretaker. Most of the orphans have to be found conduct problems, low prosocial behavior and hyperactivity said, Dr. Rama.
“The failure of adoption is hugely traumatic for the child,” said Dr.Sauri Majhi, from Baripada Hospital. “This becomes a trauma for the child as they suffer from multiple separations and rejections,” said Dr.Majhi. The children returned to the Child Care Units recover from this mental health, where the child further bonds with the child care said Dr.Majhi. There lies a communication and connection gap in the system, where the adoption results to be a failure. This builds a gap in the psychological states of the children while dealing with the world said Dr.Majhi.
Sauri said that the parents need to be counseled as well to understand the motive for the adoption. In the process of adoption, the SARA conducts the legal process for the adoption. The adopted children suffer from bad experiences in the process of adoption where, while returning back to the institutions can only add further rejections in the mental health of the child said Sauri.
“Most of the adoption failure occurs due to the adjustment issues of the parents as well as the child,” said Shubhadarshi Das, State Adoption Resource Agency, SARA Odisha. The adopted children are prepared well and groomed at the child care institutions and are prepared to adjust with the families. The adoption fails as most of the parents are not mentally prepared to bring the future to the child. The parents also need to be counseled as well as the children, to understand the motive of the adoption of the parents. Most of the disruptions occur in the case of older children. The separation multiples the suffering of the children who again deal with mental health at the child care institution said Shubhadarshi.
The situation in lockdown
A meeting was held under the chairmanship of the Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development on 30th April 2021 in all the states to assess the present situation of Covid. This was learned in the meeting that States(Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh) has designated one Child Care Institution (CCI) or Fit facility in each district to provide temporary shelter to the children whose parents are affected with Covid. A request was made for at least one CCI in each district which may be identified to support the children for the interim period by Aastha S.Khatwani, Joint Secretary at Ministry of Women & Child Development. All the hospitals and the Covid care facilities in the district are instructed the same regarding the agreement.
The support for Child psychosocial care and counseling by SAMVAD (Support, Advocacy and Mental health interventions for children in Vulnerable circumstances and Distress), is a national initiative managed by NIMHANS, according to the recent release from CARA. The Ministry is implementing a Centrally Sponsored Scheme namely Child Protection Services (CPS) in partnership with the State Governments for a 24×7 helpline for children called Childline. This is implemented under the scheme to extend the help to the children. The information about the child who has lost both parents may be shared with Childline(1098). The local Childline will confirm the case and will help the Child to produce to the Child Welfare Committee(CWC) within 24 hours.
The District administration will be assisted by the stakeholder agencies, which include those who work for the protection of the children such as local police, District Child Protection Unit, local Childline unit, Child Welfare Committees, etc. Ram Mohan Mishra, Secretary at Ministry Of Women & Child Development, requested the District Magistrate in all the Districts to ensure the rehabilitation of the Covid orphaned children in accordance with the scheme for Child Protection Services. The counseling of the parents before adoption can help in growing the connection between the adoptive parents and the child care institutions said Sauri. The cases of disruption and dissolutions can be checked by informing the adoptive parents, everything to understanding the psychology of the adopted child. Guidance to the adoptive parents about financial obligations, health constraints, legal complications, ethical issues, the emotional and cultural issues to the adoptive child can be counseled to the parents said Sauri.