Child Adoption Bill
Child Adoption Bill 30 November, 2010 – In the absence of legal framework for child adoption, a practice already on in the country, members of the national council (NC) have come under compulsion to adopt one.
One of the members, who requested anonymity, said the government was under pressure from the UN convention on the right of the child to frame such a bill.
As a member of the international community, he said, the country was an unconditional signatory to heed the convention, where it had to submit an annual report to the UN general assembly.
NC’s social and cultural committee members, which presented the reviewed child adoption bill, said an act providing protection for adopted children was crucial.
They said cases of adopted children being either treated badly or used as servants were emerging.
Some members also said the country lacked proper record with regard to inter country adoption, and no concerns were raised about their welfare, if adoptions occurred without the best interest of the child.
“The present child adoption situation is arbitrary,” a member said, adding the bill was therefore an initial attempt to streamline procedures for adoption for both national and international cases.
“It’ll lay down comprehensive and detailed processes and procedures affecting the lives and interests of adopted children,” another member said.
The bill would also provide a mechanism for regular monitoring of adopted children’s welfare, whereby adopters would be required to send in annual reports to a commission responsible for it.
Lhuentse representative and committee member Rinzin Rinzin said the bill was aimed to cover legal framework study of child welfare, which was absent in the country so far.
“The country has reached the right time to adopt the bill,” he said.
The reviewed bill contains 10 chapters and 72 provisions.
The national commission for women and children in 2009 drafted the bill, in keeping with the Constitution’s mandate, and submitted to the national council during the fifth session, following the Cabinet’s endorsement.
Deliberations on the bill will continue today.