A parliamentary panel has said there was a need to harmonise the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act and the Juvenile Justice Act to bring out a uniform and comprehensive legislation on adoption.
The Standing Committee on Law and Personnel said on Monday, 8 August, the new legislation should cover all religions and the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) community.
The panel, headed by BJP leader Sushil Modi, also said such a legislation should be more transparent, accountable, less bureaucratic and applicable to all irrespective of religion.
In its report on the "review of Guardianship and Adoption Laws", the standing committee said the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act (HAMA) and Juvenile Justice Act have their own virtues and shortcomings.
"While the adoption procedure laid down under HAMA is simple and takes less time as compared to that stipulated in JJ Act, adoptions made under JJ Act are transparent, accountable and verifiable," it said.
However, the Committee also noted that the Adoption Regulations framed under Juvenile Justice Act provide for an elaborate and time consuming adoption procedure beset with inordinate delays.
"In view of the above, the Committee feels that there is a need to harmonise both the laws and bring out a Uniform and comprehensive legislation on adoption which is more transparent, accountable, verifiable, less bureaucratic and applicable to all irrespective of religion in order to make adoptions more easy and less cumbersome." it recommended.
The new law may prescribe separate adoption procedures for institutionalised children and children living with family, it said.
"As regards adoption by relatives, the adoption process should be more flexible and simplified and involve less documentation ...The Committee feels that the new legislation should cover LGBTQ community," the panel said.