Families Minister reopens the door to adoptions from India
EXCLUSIVE adoptions from India could start again by Christmas, with Minister for Families and Children David Gillespie giving the green light for Australians to once again open their homes to Indian children.
The Courier-Mail can also reveal initial discussions have begun to allow Australians to adopt children from Kenya.
Dr Gillespie will this week write to his state and territory counterparts to advise them he has “decided to reactivate the India program on a small scale” and asking which jurisdictions would be in support of accepting larger numbers of Indian children.
He said South Australian Senator Lucy Gichuhi had also engaged in discussions with the Kenyan President to begin solidifying that pipeline.
The move on India comes after an Australian delegation last year visited the nation and was satisfied the government had reformed their untoward adoption practices that led to a shutdown of intercountry adoption with Australia in 2010.
“We’ve had very senior Commonwealth bureaucrats there and they are satisfied with the new measures India has put in place,” Dr Gillespie said. “They’ve got great processes in place and it would be a wonderful Christmas present for a lot of Indian children to have this pipeline up and running again by then.”
There has been much controversy over the Indian system with allegations of children being sold into adoption or kidnapped and forced into orphanages.
Anti-child trafficking advocates say the move to reopen the pipeline is wrong as children are still being victimised, and the Australian delegation didn’t even meet with them during their visits.
Pune-based Arun Dohle from Against Child Trafficking said there was still mass corruption within the Indian adoption system. “People who work in the adoption agencies are also working in the child welfare agencies so there is a clear conflict of interest and corruption,” Mr Dohle said.