CHAPTER-8
ADOPTION COORDINATING AGENCY (ACA)

8.1 There will be an Adoption Coordinating Agency (ACA) in a State or in special circumstances for a group of states where there are several children homes and adoption agencies to carry out the functions prescribed under the Guidelines and as assigned to it by CARA from time to time.

8.2 The ACA shall be registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 or authority created by the State Government with detailed Rules and Regulations and will comply with all the Rules laid down under the Act and also Guidelines.

8.3 Functions:

        i. The ACA will receive periodically a list of children who are legally free for adoption every month from the following and shall maintain a register for the same:

                             a.Recognized Indian Placement Agencies.

                             b.Licensed Adoption Placement Agencies.

                             c.Government Homes.

                             d. Other children’s Homes.

ii.It will coordinate the work of all its Member Agencies and other Child Welfare Institutions in the field of Indian adoption.

iii.It shall call for a pet resort.  riodic meeting of Members as per the Memorandum and at least one meeting in each quarter.

iv.It shall receive details of children who are being sought to be made free for inter-country adoptions from RIPAs and ensure that the priority laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court on adoption within the country is adhered to.

v.It shall register prospective Indian adoptive parents and prepare the HSR of prospective Indian parents where necessary.

vi. It shall also receive an updated list of prospective adoptive parents from Member Agencies.

If at the end of 30th day, no suitable adoptive parents are found, the ACA will give a Clearance Certificate to the child placed under their assistance after seeing the child verifying all relevant documents to be placed with foreign adoptive parents. The Clearance Certificate must include a current photo of the child

i.In cases where CARA Guidelines are not being followed by any recognised/licensed agency, the concerned ACA will bring it to the notice of State Government and CARA.

ii.The ACA should undertake programmes for promotion of in-country adoption.

 iii.It should undertake Training Programmes to upgrade the skills of adoption functionaries.

iv.It should provide pre and post adoption counseling wherever required.

v.The ACA shall promote observance of quality childcare, health and hygiene at placement agency. Any irregularities or neglect of children should be reported to CARA.

vi.All ACAs shall submit to CARA an annual report including an audited statement of accounts and activities conducted throughout the year.

vii.It will feed regular information on children placed under ACA assistance to CARA for preparing a Central Pool.

viii.The ACA will carry out any other tasks in the field of adoption as directed by CARA from time to time.

ix.he ACA will make all possible efforts to place a child in in-country adoption through inter- VCA coordination before issue of clearance to the child for placement in inter-country adoption within the prescribed period.

8.4 ACA shall have a minimum of two professionally trained persons 

8.5 Recognition

Every recognised ACA should apply for renewal of recognition, 6 months prior to the date of expiry of the previous recognition.

a.The recognition will be normally for period of three years. CARA may accord recognition for less than 3 years depending on the performance of the particular ACA.

b.Criteria for Recognition

In order to be recognised as ACA, an agency must fulfill the following

 i.It should be a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 or an authority created by concerned State Government with detailed Rules & Regulations.

ii.The agency must be recommended by the concerned State Government for recognition by CARA.

iii.he agency should run on a non-commercial and non-profitable basis.

 iv. Undertaking to Comply with CARA Guidelines.

 v. All the Office-bearers should be Indian Nationals.

c.Renewal of Recognition

ACA which seeks renewal of recognition should apply to CARA through the State Government for renewal of recognition six months prior to the date of expiry of the previous recognition. If the State Government does not respond within the stipulated 60 day period from the date of receipt of application, it shall be presumed that the State Government has no objection. However, CARA may issue recognition after Joint Inspection of CARA and State Government. The following would be the main criteria for renewal of recognition

i. Satisfactory performance in the promotion of in-country adoptions.
ii. Timely submission of reports and audited statement of accounts as may be specified by CARA,
iii. Compliance with Guidelines.

d.Withdrawal of Recognition
Recognition of ACA may be withdrawn by CARA for violation of Terms & Conditions as given in these Guidelines after giving the ACA an opportunity to explain its position. Any malpractice, if proved, would immediately invite action in the shape of withdrawal of recognition. Delay and non-compliance in the submission of reports/accounts asked for by the State Government or CARA may also be a ground for withdrawal of recognition.

In the event of withdrawal of recognition CARA shall evolve suitable alternate mechanism for issue of Clearance Certificates.

8.6 Membership of ACA

All the Recognised Indian Placement Agencies, Licensed Adoption Agencies, Sishu Grehs and Government run Children Homes would be required to become members of an ACA. Child welfare agencies, which are not placing children in adoption but are running Homes for children etc. would also be eligible to be members of the ACA. Any agency de-recognised by CARA or de-licensed by the State Government shall cease to be a member of an ACA and it shall not be eligible for membership of an ACA unless it is once again recognised or licensed. Adoptive Parent Associations shall also be eligible for membership. Individuals with expertise in adoption/child welfare may be enrolled as members. The above will constitute the General Body of the ACA.

8.7 Structure of ACA

There shall be an Executive Committee for managing the affairs of an ACA. The Executive Committee shall consist of not less than 5 members. Only ACAs recognised by CARA can carry out the functions envisaged in these Committees. Where there is no ACA existing, reputed Child Welfare organisation or an academic body can function as ACA in accordance with existing Guidelines for ACA formation. CARA, in consultation with State Government, may identify such an organisation not involved in adoption placement work. However, its recognition as an ACA shall come through the State Government if all other conditions are met.

The office bearers of the Executive Committee of an ACA will consist of a Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer. Who shall be elected from and by the General Body of Members of the ACA for a term of 3 years. No office bearer shall be from any inter-country adoption agency. Office bearer shall not hold office for more than two consecutive terms.

The tenure of Executive Members will be for a period of 3 years.

The Executive Committee shall consist of the following Members:

1.Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer;

2.One representative of the State Government not below the rank of Assistant Director;

3.One representative of the Scrutiny Agency/Agencies working in the jurisdiction of the concerned ACA;

4. One representative of the agencies exclusively involved in Indian adoption (without having Inter-country Adoption recognition);

5.One representative of the Recognised Indian Placement Agencies (Inter-Country) wherever existing;

6. One representative from Adoptive Parents Associations, wherever existing;

7. One representative from the Deptt. of Health, State Govt.

8. One representative from the Academic Community preferably from the field of Social Work/Law/Child Development without any direct link with the adoption agencies.

The representation from Points 2 to 7 shall be on a rotation basis wherever there are more such agencies/organizations. Representative of the Scrutiny Agency in the ACA Executive Committee should not be member of the Adoption Scrutiny Committee.

8.8 The Executive Committee of an ACA may appoint staff to carry out the day-to-day functions of the ACA. Such paid staff would be accountable to the Executive Committee.

8.9 No Recognized Indian Placement Agency shall process the application of foreign families for inter-country adoption before obtaining the Clearance Certificate (CC) from the ACA.

8.10 ACA Clearance Certificate 

The ACA clearance certificate shall have two signatures. This comprises the Chairperson and Secretary of the ACA. The procedure will be followed as per Para 4.1 Step II of the Guidelines.

8.11 Existing VCAs

The existing VCAs shall be reconstituted within a period of six months of issue of these Guidelines and will be known as ACA.

No organisation can function as an ACA as prescribed in the Guidelines without a valid recognition of CARA.

 

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