Social media posts calling for adoption of COVID orphans trigger alarm
Facts: In the course of the second wave of the pandemic that has brought the country to its knees with a staggering number of infections and daily deaths, there has been a growing concern over how it is affecting children. Over the past several weeks, there have been many instances of children whose parents are hospitalised after being affected by the virus and are helpless and left alone at home with little or no support system around them. And a far more tragic scenario is where children have been orphaned as a result of their parents succumbing to the disease. While social media has been largely helpful in amplifying SOS calls for beds, medicines and oxygen, it has also been a hunting ground for those seeking to profit from vulnerable, orphaned children, and illegal posts calling for adoption and seeking financial aid for them.
One such viral post said, “If anyone wishes to adopt a girl, please feel free to contact Priyanka (her number was mentioned in the post). One girl is 3 days old and another is 6 months old. They have lost their parents recently due to covid. Share as much as possible help them get a life.”
While many chose to reshare and forward this appeal without checking the facts, there were others who immediately flagged it off as being ‘irresponsible and an offence’ because appeals and requests to adopt children though WhatsApp and social media messages make kids vulnerable to child trafficking and illegal adoption.
Also Read- CARA- Central Adoption Resource Authority
A day later, on a Facebook group for adoptive parents and prospective adoptive parents, a message was sent out clarifying that the inappropriate post doing the rounds earlier was fake. The official clarification by the person mentioned in the post read, “The message regarding adoption is a false & wrong message. Someone has fraudulently added my name. India has special, strict laws related to adoption. If you come across such a message, delete & inform those forwarding to do the same. Call 1098, for all issues concerning children of all ages.
Apparently, the woman whose number was mentioned in the fake message helps women who are victims of domestic violence, and she ended up answering a lot of calls about this fake post. The clarification on Facebook also highlighted that the message could have been put out by child traffickers who wanted to test the waters. “There are similar ones making the rounds with different numbers but the same content.
While this fake post was called out in time, there are many such messages doing the rounds, which have sparked a conversation about how we need to be cautious and watchful about spreading information about such sensitive issues, which can put a child’s life at risk.
Also Read- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) – CARA
- People putting out such posts are violating the law of the land. It also violates the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) guidelines.
- Such posts could be a racket and lead children into the hands of anti-social elements.
- Such posts puts child at vulnerable position.
Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) reacted to the post and issued a red flag over it prior to the clarification. On Saturday, Commission Chairperson Anurag Kundu tweeted, “Do not believe anyone who says he/she can give you the child for adoption. They are either lying or misleading or simply involved in illegal practices. Do reach out to your lawyer friends for advice.”
Reportedly, the child rights body said that requests for adopting kids amid the pandemic have also started pouring in.
For those not in the know, there is a specific legal process for anyone wanting to adopt a child in India, and no child in India can be adopted without involving Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA).
Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Smriti Irani appealed to people to prevent illegal adoption of children orphaned by Covid-19 with a series of posts. She urged people not to reveal contact details or share pictures of vulnerable children in distress situation on social media. She also asked people to inform local Child welfare Committee or Police or Child helpline 1098 about such children.
OPINIONS- The people who do this should be charged under the child protection acts like Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) and JJ Act 2020 (Juvenile Justice) because you are exposing children and playing with their lives. We have CARA guidelines to ensure that children do not fall prey to any trafficking racket.
For case specific advice please connect with Adoption Lawyers in Chandigarh Panchkula Mohali Zirakpur Derabassi Kharar etc.
More on 99888-17966.