The Ministry of Women and Child Development has written to State governments, asking them to immediately implement the revised adoption rules requiring adoption orders to be passed by District Magistrates (DMs) instead of courts with effect from September 1.
- The instructions come despite concerns raised over jurisdiction of DMs in civil matters such as inheritance and succession, as well as delays likely to be caused in cases where the court has already passed orders since September 1 or is likely to pass them shortly after having spent several months on the proceedings.
- There are concerns that the Centre has also not yet notified Adoption Regulations, 2022 detailing the process to be followed by the DMs.
- Parliament passed the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021 last year in order to amend the Juvenile Justice Act (JJ Act), 2015.
- These authorise District Magistrates and Additional District Magistrates to issue adoption orders under Section 61 of the JJ Act by striking out the word “court”.
- This was done in order to ensure speedy disposal of cases and enhance accountability.
- The amendments to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016, were notified on September 1 and require all adoption cases to be transferred to the DM with immediate effect.