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Calls for adopting children orphaned by COVID-19: Act against these illegal calls says SC

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New Delhi, June 08: The Supreme Court has come down heavily on NGOs who invite people to illegally adopt children orphaned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The court has directed the states and Union Territories to take stringent measures against private individuals and NGOs who are indulging in an illegal adoption programme.

Calls for adopting children orphaned by COVID-19: Act against these illegal calls says SC

A Bench comprising Justice L Nageshwar Rao and Aniruddha Bose said in an 18 page order that such actions should be prevented. "The State Governments/Union Territories are directed to prevent any NGO from collecting funds in the names of the affected children by disclosing their identity and inviting interested persons to adopt them. No adoption of affected children should be permitted contrary to the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015," the Bench said.

It further said that it is illegal to invite strangers to adopt children, already traumatised by their personal losses without the involvement of the Central Adoption Resource Authority, a statutory body under the Indian government.

The order was passed after the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights on Monday raised an alarm over the spate of complaints about illegal adoption of children orphaned due to COVID-19.

"Invitation to persons for adoption of orphans is contrary to law as no adoption of a child can be permitted without the involvement of CARA. Stringent action shall be taken by the State Governments/Union Territories against agencies/individuals who are responsible for indulging in this illegal activity," the Bench said.

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