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‘Adoption guidelines a threat to Article 371 (A)’

By EMN Updated: Aug 11, 2019 12:04 am

NGO workers call for consultative meet on August 20 to discuss Nagaland’s adoption policy

Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Aug. 10: The Central Adoption Resource Authority (Cara), which functions as the nodal body for adoption of children in India and has the mandate to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoptions, contradicts the special provisions of Article 371 (A) for Nagaland, according to Dr. Hesheto Chishi, the chairman of Nagaland NGOs Forum.

During a press conference in Dimapur on Saturday, Chishi said that in order to address this issue, a consultative meeting among stakeholders on child adoption would be held on August 20 in Dimapur.

He said that the Cara guideline posing a threat to Article 371 (A) concerns ‘legal and customary laws.’

“If the state follows Cara regulation for adoption, Article 371 (A) will have no meaning and Cara will have adverse effect in the state”, according to Chishi. He admitted that so far no NGO has raised the child adoption issue to the state government, and that it was the state assembly’s responsibility to act on it.

“We are not sure how committed the state government is with Article 371 (A) and NGOs as implementing agencies become the victim when dealing with such issue. Until and unless we have our own regulations for adoption as per our custom, Article 371 (A) will be under threat,” he asserted.

The forum’s advisor K Ela remarked that child adoption in the state was a pertinent issue. “Naga customary practice”, she said, “was unique and considering the uniqueness there has to be a consensus where the regulation fits in the socio-cultural context in the state”.

“The Naga society has to be clear when we talk of child adoption. Whether we follow the Cara regulation or our customary tradition; and how do we come up with a conclusive decision is the main concern for the intended consultative meeting,” she said.

The forum’s general secretary, Chenithung Humtsoe pointed out that the state government has the practice of passing resolutions without debate or discussion; and therefore the state consultative meeting was intended to involve the state government so that with the practical experience the NGOs have, the state government can be extended support and guidance.

The consultative meeting is expected to be attended by church leaders, representatives from the state’s ruling and opposition party, student leaders, tribal bodies, and women leaders. Earlier this year, the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee and the Nagaland unit of JD (U) had suggested for an elaborate law on adoption in the state.

By EMN Updated: Aug 11, 2019 12:04:46 am