Saturday, February 10, 2007

Adopting a Child From India - A Petition

Via e-mail from Mumbaigirl (I've taken the liberty of copying and pasting the petition here; please do consider signing the petition - the title will take you directly to their website):

Streamlining RIPA Re-licensing Process and NOC Process for NRI/OCI/PIO

To: Prime Minister's Offce, India

Honorable Prime Minister of India
Dr. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of India
New Delhi

NRI/OCI/PIO families currently face several delays when adopting from India. One of the contributing factors is the expiry of licenses of the RIPAs, and the subsequent delays in the license renewal process. NOCs cannot be issued by CARA for the children and the parents cannot get custody of the child for pre-adoption foster-care until the RIPA's license is renewed.

The license for a RIPA is valid for a period of 1-3 years and there is a gap of several months before the license is renewed. At this time, 16 of the 67 licenses have already expired or will expire this month (Feb 2007). These 67 RIPAs are the only agencies NRIs/ OCIs/ PIOs can go through and when over 20\% of them have expired licenses that indicates a breakdown in the process resulting in significant disruption in the adoption process. Such disruptions cause the children to remain in the orphanages for much longer than they should. The longer a child is institutionalized, the greater the probability of attachment disorders and long term trauma. Also, the NOC is just one step in the process, and once the NOC is awarded, the case still has to be adjudicated in court which could take several months.

Uncertainty in the timeframe of RIPA license renewal is quite stressful for everyone involved – the RIPAs (who should be focusing on caring for the children and on operational details rather than chasing down license status everyday), the adoptive families (whose lives are on-hold for such long periods of time) as well as the State and CARA personnel (who have to constantly answer questions on status instead of focusing on completing their scrutiny in a timely manner).

These delays are not good for either the children or the families waiting anxiously to hold them. The sooner the children can go into a loving home, the better it is for them.

We would be very grateful if you could please help us in this regard by streamlining/ standardizing the process of license renewals of RIPAs. Timely renewal of licenses of RIPAs will help the children come home to their families sooner and assimilate/ integrate better. Some of the suggestions that might be implemented are:

• Implement the timeline suggested in the 2006 CARA Guidelines of 15 days for issuing the NOC to prospective adoptive parents.

• Any dossiers submitted before the license expires should be processed by CARA based on the "time in" stamp.

• If there are no complaints or detrimental reports against a RIPA, then a provisional license should be provided for a 3-6 month period while the detailed scrutiny is carried out, so that NOCs can be issued and adjudicating the cases in court is not stopped.

• Pre-approve the NOC for families who have adopted before and are in compliance with all reporting requirements based on the recommendation of the RIPA.

• Expedite NOC turnaround time for children that might require urgent medical attention to address chronic or other medical conditions.

• Post NOC statistics on the CARA website, such as average time to issue NOC and number of NOCs issued every month and to which RIPA.

As a community, we (NRI/OCI/PIO families) maintain very strong ties to India and we would like to bring home our adopted children as soon as possible. We teach our children Indian traditions and arts and visit India very often. We greatly appreciate your consideration of our request.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

4 comments:

mumbaigirl said...

Hey, thanks!

Thenraj said...

Add My signature for this purpose.

Government System has to be refurbished for the better.

Sujatha Bagal said...

MG, you're welcome. :)

TN, you can do that yourself by clicking on the link and going to the site. Thanks!

smallsquirrel said...

ooooooooo I will sign the petition for sure. I was shocked to read this as our plan has always been to adopt. As someone that falls into this category, of course I am concerned. The adoption process is already cumbersome as it is! Thanks for the information!!!

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