'Don't abandon babies, surrender them to govt'

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Baby Afreen
New Delhi, May 13: Newborns left abandoned could have a better future if they are "surrendered" to child welfare committees, officials and child right activists said, referring to the rising number of baby abandonment cases.

Public, they feel, are unaware of a provision in law which allows people to surrender babies if the biological parents cannot raise their child due to any reasons.

The act covers unwed mothers as well and guarantees to maintain the secrecy of the individual surrendering the baby. Activists contend why should children be dumped in garbage bins if the parents have have already decided to part with their child.

"Why not surrender them to Child Welfare Committee (CWC) so that the child will be properly taken care of," they ask. At least 18 children were surrendered with the Child Welfare Committee in West Delhi in the past three years. "We have received 18 surrendered children in past three years. The maximum applications for surrendering that we get are from unwed mothers.

"We do consider these cases but in case the mother is a minor girl, we accept the baby with her parent's written consent," Neera Mullick, Chairman of CWC in West Delhi's Jail Road, told PTI.

Mullick said they need to be very careful in examining the cases.

"Their have been few incidents when the parents were well versed to raise the baby but due to their personal differences they did not want to raise them. The investigation on CWC's part plays a very crucial role." she said.

Susma Vij, Chairperson of CWC in east Delhi's Mayur Vihar, said on an average they receive 3-4 requests every six months for surrendering children.

"We take a minimum three months to register a surrendered baby. We focus more on the counselling part because at times it may happen that parents choose to surrender their baby due to any momentary circumstances and might regret it later. Once a surrendered baby is adopted by someone it can't be returned except in rare cases," she said. 

PTI 

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