The Women and Child Development Ministry is going to amend the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act to make the district magistrates and collectors "competent officers" for approving adoptions, instead of courts, Union minister Maneka Gandhi said today, days after cases of alleged illegal adoptions came to light in Jharkhand.
Ms Gandhi was speaking at a national conference of the ministers in-charge of the women and child development departments in all the states and Union territories here.
"We are bringing in an amendment to the Juvenile Justice Act for making District Magistrate/Collector as the competent officer for approving adoptions, instead of courts: Maneka Gandhi," the ministry said in a tweet.
Ms Gandhi, the Union Women and Child Development Minister, had yesterday directed the state governments to inspect all the child-care homes run by the Mother Teresa-founded Missionaries of Charity (MoC), after cases of alleged illegal adoptions carried out by one such homes in Ranchi came to light.
On July 5, the Jharkhand police had arrested a nun and an employee of the Ranchi-based organisation, run by the MoC, for allegedly "selling" a baby for Rs 1.2 lakh.
Ms Gandhi has also directed the states to ensure that all the child-care institutions (CCIs) are registered and linked to the country's apex adoption body within a month.
According to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, registration of CCIs and their linking with the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is mandatory, but some orphanages have challenged the validity of the clause, an official in the Women and Child Development Ministry said.
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