The Spanish couple had adopted the child from special adopti ..
BHOPAL: The Madhya Pradesh Protection for Child Rights Commission on
Thursday initiated an inquiry into the reported abandonment of a
13-year-old girl adopted from Bhopal by a Spanish couple earlier this
Sources say the couple has written to Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) that they were misled on the child’s age and she is 13-and-a-half years old, not seven as her papers said at the time of adoption. The teenager is now in a protection home in Spain, awaiting rescue by the women and child development ministry.
The Spanish couple had adopted the child from special adoption agency Udaan in Bhopal on January 1, 2018. TOI had reported it then+ . According to the couple’s complaint, they took her for age determining tests on learning that she was already menstruating. A medical check-up and bone ossification test in Madrid revealed that she was above 13 years, say sources.
The couple wrote to CARA, New Delhi, on March 28, 2018, saying they had been misled on her age. CARA forwarded it to ministry of women and child development for investigation.
Udaan director Apoorva Sharma told TOI on Friday that the adoption agency has no role in specifying age of a child. “All the documents of children who come to live with us are processed by Child Welfare Committee. We do not decide the age of the child as CWC only completes the paperwork. Besides, all the documents are verified by CARA and Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency before adoption of a child is confirmed,” she said over telephone.
Coordinator of CARA Madhya Pradesh, Durgesh Keswani, protection officer Sanjay Nagar, District Child Protection Unit (DPCU) official Ram Gopal and assistant director of state WCD department Manglesh Singh visited the Udaan centre on Friday. They met Sharma and asked her for documents, but she allegedly refused.
‘Agency hasn’t replied to CARA notices’
Keswani said, “While she refused to show us the documents concerning details of the child, her husband Ajit Kumar threatened us, saying he will send a notice from the high court to anyone getting involved in the matter. CARA had sent two notices to Sharma on January 5 and January 10, pointing out violations made by Udaan, but she did not respond.”
An e-mailed reply to TOI from ‘manager, Udaan org’ also said that they would approach high court.
“This publication affects child’s best interests and rehabilitation of other children residing in different agencies is also affected. The agency is also going to the honourable high court for this matter,” it said.
Realising the gravity of the issue, Madhya Pradesh Protection for Child Rights Commission took immediate steps to investigate the case and will write to WCD ministry on Saturday. “We will take strict action against anyone who plays with a child’s future. This is a grave offence as no adoption agency has the right to pass off a teenager for a seven-year-old child. Now, the girl is suffering in a foreign land and we have no idea what she might be going through. We will not let the adoption agency go away scot-free. We will ensure that the girl gets justice,” said Brijesh Chouhan, member of MPPCRC.
By Suchita Jha, TNN
- The Spanish couple had adopted the child from special adoption agency Udaan in Bhopal on January 1, 2018.
- The teenager is now in a protection home in Spain, awaiting rescue by the women and child development ministry.