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Meghalaya -- The Union Minister for Women & Child Development, Maneka Gandhi inaugurated the Regional Conference of North Eastern States on Child Adoption in Shillong, Meghalaya . The Conference was organized by the Central Adoption Resource Authority(CARA) of the WCD Ministry.
Ministers In-charge of Social Welfare and Women & Child Development in the North Eastern States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura participated in the conference.

Addressing the Conference,  Maneka Gandhi said that children are the most vulnerable of human beings and their issues need to be looked into with empathy. It is due to this reason that the adoption reforms was the first initiative taken up by the WCD Ministry after the new Government took charge, the Minister explained.

Smt Maneka Gandhi said that this reform process has culminated in the enactment of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. The new Act lays down timelines for the Child Welfare Committees and Adoption Agencies for various stages of adoption. The Act provides for mandatory registration of Childcare Institutions and linkage with CARA, so that each child becomes ‘adoptable’. The Minister warned that a stringent penalty is provided in Law in case of non-compliance.

  Maneka Gandhi advised the adoption agencies to bring children with the agency to adoptable stage immediately. Secondly it must be ensured that the medical reports and home study reports are complete and comprehensive. She also suggested them to use the facility of foster care for children who have crossed the maximum age limit for adoption and also asked them to remain alert regarding trafficking of children.

The WCD Minister highlighted the steps being taken to prevent crimes against women and their empowerment like special Mahila Police Volunteer schemes and panic button in Cell phones. Smt Maneka Gandhi urged that the women and other women Self Help Groups of the North East to make use of the Digital Marketing Portal, Mahil E-Haat of WCD Ministry to market their beautiful products and have direct linkage with the prospective buyers.

About 400 delegates attended the Conference, including the stakeholders from the State Adoption Resource Agencies (SARAs), District Child Protection Units (DCPUs), Child Welfare Committees (CWCs), Specialised Adoption Agencies (SAAs) and Child Care Institutions (CCIs) in the North Eastern States, besides the senior officers from the Ministry of Women & Child Development, Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) and the concerned Department of the State Governments in the region.

The conference was organised with a view to familiarize the stakeholders involved in the adoption process in North Eastern States about the provisions relating to adoption under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and orient them about the provisions of Adoption Guidelines - 2015 as well as the online adoption process through Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System (CARINGS).

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