Maneka Gandhi urges States to immediately reduce pending cases with CWCs to speed up adoption

The Minister of Women & Child Development, Ms. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi has written to all the Chief Ministers expressing her anguish as well as dissatisfaction on the functioning of Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) in the States.

The Minister for Women and child Development today undertook a comprehensive review of the pendency of cases of children waiting to be declared legally free by the CWCs. It was found that a total of 1811 cases of children are pending in the country. Out of these, the largest number of cases are with Maharashtra (439), Madhya Pradesh (151), Tamil Nadu (132), West Bengal (176), Uttar Pradesh (126) and Delhi (107). The Minister expressed deep concern over the fact that more than half were pending beyond four months and 470 cases are pending for more than one year.

Smt Maneka Gandhi also personally spoke to the Ministers Incharge of Women and Child Development in the States, asking them to get these cases disposed off by the respective CWCs within a period of a fortnight.

While reviewing the position, the Minister stated that this work should actually be done in a ‘no-delay mode’ by the CWC so that the children can be declared legally free and are placed with a family through adoption process of CARA which now is working through an automatic and fast system of CARINGS.

Before a child is made available for adoption under the CARA system, it has to be declared “legally free for adoption” by the respective Child Welfare Committee. Child Welfare Committees have been constituted in almost all districts of the country and they are supposed to look after all the cases of child protection including the cases of adoption.

The revised adoption guidelines, notified by the ministry under the Juvenile Justice Act, prescribe strict timelines within which all the steps required to be taken for placing a child with a family are to be completed. These timelines are to be followed by the all agencies involved including CWCs, State Adoption agencies, Child Care institutions, Courts among others. wishes all the lovely children a bright future.

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