Fam­i­lies Min­is­ter re­opens the door to adop­tions from In­dia

The Courier-Mail - - INSIGHT - LANAI SCARR

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.

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