Inter-country adoption is an increasingly common form of family formation. Inter-country adoption can be defined as adoption of a child by a person of another country. Inter-Country adoption may be more viable choice than domestic adoption for many families especially those who want to adopt a healthy infant.
Over the last 10 years, the numbers of children who are adopted by families who live outside of the child's birth country has more than tripled. Our increasingly globalize world is blurring the edges of racial, ethnic or national identity. No where is this phenomena more actualized than in the act of building a family through inter-country adoption. In the United States, alone, more than 20,000 children a year are being adopted from China, Russia, and other Asian, Eastern European, and Latin American countries.
The adoption of Indian children by foreign nationals is a controversial issue. To some people it is incomprehensible why Indian children should be sent abroad at all. This situation arises because adoption is still a bit of a stigma in India. Indians are not very open to the idea of adoption.
In foreign countries, there is the opposite problem where children are in short supply for adoption. While there are innumerable cases of Indian orphans being given a secure and loving home in another country, newspapers have reported a number of cases where the child has gone to an alien land only to be mistreated. Such children have been used as domestic servants, beggars and even for prostitution. In other cases, so-called adoption agencies have demanded exorbitant amounts from foreign nationals in consideration of giving a child in adoption and often this is under the label of maintenance charges and medical expenses supposed to have been incurred for the child. It is these cases that leave a bad taste in the mouth and make people wary of adoption by foreign nationals. In the matter of L.K. Pandey vs. Union of India, the Supreme Court of India has laid down certain guidelines that have to be followed in the case of foreign adoption in an attempt to safeguard the interests of the children.
A foreign national adopts an Indian child under the provisions of the Guardian and Wards Act, 1890. The Indian court will appoint the foreigner as the child’s guardian. The foreign national will take the child to his own country and adopt him or her as per the laws of his country.
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