Adoption licence to expire in days, Preet Mandir stuck with 37 children

With just over a week for its licence to give children up for adoption within the country to expire, Preet Mandir in Camp area is struggling to get it renewed. It says it is awaiting a response from the state Women and Child Development (WCD) department to its request letter sent in November, but officials at the State Adoption Resource Agency (SARA) that handles licence requests and functions under the WCD ministry, say they have not received any request of the kind from the district.

There are as many as 37 children waiting to be adopted from its Kalyani Nagar branch, and Preet Mandir says at least 20 are children with special needs who stand to get better care if they are adopted abroad. The licence of Preet Mandir it had courted a controversy earlier over its functioning to give children to adoptive parents abroad has not been renewed by the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA). Inter-country adoptions need central sanction.

Preet Mandir says it had sent a letter requesting in-country licence renewal to the state WCD department in November.

A SARA official, however, said, "We have nearly 59 agencies operating in the state and have received no proposal for any such renewal.'' The WCD department is supposed to forward proposals to SARA.

Preet Mandir officials say they are awaiting a response. They say their application to the WCD department on November 17 last year had requested renewal of licence. "It was given for two years and we kindly request you to renew the same for three years,'' states the letter. The letter adds that "after experiencing enormous operating upheaval and consequent problems for the last three years, the management has taken several steps to reorganise itself and rejuvenate the board of trustees.''

Its officials added that they had a receipt of the letter from the department, dated November 19, 2012.

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