Same-sex couples in India may be debarred from adopting a child

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The Union Cabinet has decided to stop same-sex couples from adopting a child in India, reports in the media say. The cabinet has taken the decision while discussing amendments to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.

Guidelines governing the adoption of children in India notified in 2011 by the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Women & Child Development, permit single individuals between the age of 30 and 50 to adopt, with the restriction that single males shall not be allowed to adopt a girl child. While couples in live-in relationships are debarred from adoption, the guidelines are silent on adoption by same sex individuals. An earlier set of guidelines on adoption from India framed in 2006 specifically disallowed foreign same sex couples from adopting an Indian child. The 2011 guidelines, however removed this restriction.

With no definitive word on this preventive clause being included in the proposed amendments, the picture is expected to clear only when the final Bill is tabled in Parliament.

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