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Homearrow News and Events Year 2011 ‘Delay in NOC Leaves HIV +ve boy in the Lurch’

‘Delay in NOC Leaves HIV +ve boy in the Lurch’

Times of India
09 February 2011
By Hetal Vyas
Mumbai, India

The fate of a 20–month–old HIV positive boy is hanging in the balance, thanks to the ‘apathy’ shown by the Central Adoption Resources Agency (CARA), the Bombay high court was told on Tuesday.

A Spanish couple had earlier decided to adopt the boy. However, given the delay by CARA in granting a No Objection Certificate (NOC), the couple has now decided against it, said Shirin Merchant, the advocate representing the couple as well as the boy.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice S J Vajifdar was irked to hear that the delay in granting the NOC has left the boy in the lurch and that he will now have to wait till another couple decides to adopt him. The boy was given for adoption by the Pune–based Preet Mandir, which faced suspension following complaints of financial malpractice and human trafficking last year.

"The boy was born to a HIV positive mother and had symptoms of the disease. A Spanish couple still agreed to adopt him in February 2010 and started the formalities, but following CARA’s decision to suspend Preet Mandir’s licence, the formalities were not completed. Even the boy’s health is deteriorating," Merchant told the court.

Merchant is representing six more foreign couples who agreed to adopt eight children from Preet Mandir. Hearing Merchant’s submissions, the judges remarked: "You (government) are not considering the condition of these children. Unnecessary delay is not only creating hurdles in the adoption procedure, but also affecting welfare of the children selected for adoption."

Merchant told the court that there are 86 children with Preet Mandir waiting for adoption. Of the eight selected for adoption, one is suffering from Hepatitis B and another has a severe orthopaedic problem. Preet Mandir’s counsel, senior advocate Prasad Dhakepalkar said that the CBI had in 2010 lodged an FIR against just one of the trustees.

"The government should not shut down the adoption facilities because of this FIR. CARA has delayed filing its reply, thereby affecting the adoption procedure," Dhakepalkar said.

CARA’s advocate Vinod Joshi said Preet Mandir’s licence was cancelled in May 2010 following complaints of malpractice. The HC has directed CARA to decide the six applications by February 28.

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