Adoption scam hits hospitals, nursing homes in Karnataka
Feb 21, 2014 - Bala Chauhan |
A scam of shocking proportions, which involves alleged sale of infants and ‘misuse’ of unwed or single mothers in various hospitals and nursing homes, has come to light in Karnataka.
Sources in the government and registered adoption agencies revealed shocking details of how several childless couples are circumventing the adoption laws and ‘buying’ infants in collusion with doctors and hospital authorities for sums ranging from `15,000 to `2lakh and above because they find it “easy and quick,” said an official source.
“The racket not only violates the adoption laws, which safeguard the interest of the adopted child and adoptive parents; it also encourages human trafficking. Gynecologists, pediatricians, hospital management and nursing staff are allegedly involved in this racket in which an unwed would-be mother, who comes to a hospital, is registered as the wife of a man, who along with his wife may have approached the hospital for treatment of infertility. The unwed mother delivers the child, who is then ‘sold’ to the childless couple but is recorded in the hospital records as their biological child. The biological mother meanwhile, leaves the hospital incognito after being paid part of the sale amount,” said an official source.
The sale proceeds are shared among the doctors, nurses and others.
In Malnad, a paediatrician allegedly ‘paid’ vulnerable young girls to get pregnant through illicit relationships and reportedly ‘sells’ the children to couples. In another case, a member of the child welfare commission allegedly helped a couple, who had a biological daughter to ‘buy’ a male child from a disempowered couple and even got the child registered as their own.
District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) officers have voiced their concerns over “disappearance” of childless couples soon after registration. “Some couples didn’t return after registering and initial counseling. When the DCPU went to their homes, they found them with a child. The child was not obviously legally adopted,” said the officer.
“There is a dramatic fall in the number of children being received by the adoption agencies. I would be very happy if this suggested that less number of children are being abandoned. Unfortunately this is not the case.
There’s a parallel system at work, which is totally illegal. People are directly taking babies from hospitals and nursing homes, which is dangerous and illegal. Some of them have later approached us to legalise the adoption. We tell them that we can’t help them and that they need to go back and do entire the procedure legally,” said Dr Aloma Lobo, chairperson, Adoption Consultancy Agency, Karnataka.