ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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All-Round Callousness

Adoption Racket

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 The rescue of over 170 infants from five unrecognised adoption agencies has focused attention once again on the child trafficking racket that flourishes in Andhra Pradesh, rooted in the acute poverty of tribal communities and loopholes in laws governing child adoption. The infants, some just a few months old, are mostly from the tribal Lambada community; others are mainly from the droughthit districts of Nalgonda, Mahbubnagar and Ranga Reddy.

It is almost a macabre replication of the events that occurred two years ago. According to newspaper reports, two agencies – the Action for Social Development (ASD) and the Good Samaritan Evangelical and Welfare Association (GSEWA) – have since 1999 procured nearly 400 babies for adoption in foreign countries. The operation is apparently extensive and very well organised. Brokers routinely scour villages for infants, where parents, ridden by poverty, part with their children for as little as 1,0002,000 rupees. More sordid is that often foetuses are ‘booked’ and brokers pay an advance for the nourishment of the pregnant women. In turn, they earn a hefty commission of around Rs 20,000 while the agencies reportedly charge $3,0005,000 for every child bought and shipped to other countries.

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