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Adoption market

Print edition : Jun 17, 2005



The issue of adoption, particularly inter-country adoption, has been a grey area for society, the media and governments ("Adoption market," June 3). Occasional scandals have been reverberating in regional papers. Frontline needs to be congratulated for such a fine investigative piece, and for providing the much-needed space for a discussion on an issue that has hitherto been secretive.

Gita RamaswamyHyderabad

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The Cover Story was bold and persuasive. It has opened our eyes to what is going on behind the scenes. Your investigation clearly indicates that we have reached the stage where there is no respect for the law.

Bidyut Kumar ChatterjeeFaridabad

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The Cover Story reveals a shockingly crude and painful picture of the countrywide racket in child trafficking connected with inter-country adoption. The agencies involved are exploiting the loopholes in the guidelines prescribed by the Supreme Court and flouting the rules with impunity. The Central Adoption Resource Agency has no teeth. The government should intervene and pass an effective law to regulate adoptions, focussing on the interests and welfare of children.

V.K. Sathyavan NairKottayam, Kerala

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You have sweepingly trashed the whole adoption programme, which has benefited so many children and families. As a practitioner in this field for 30 years, I would say that there are only a handful of corrupt agencies. These agencies cannot exist without the support of government officials and other monitoring bodies, all of whom walk free after a scam unravels. It is also owing to criminal negligence that so many children died after being taken into government care.

The number of children going into adoption is miniscule. The rest are beneficiaries of sub-standard, or no care at all. The special needs programme, which constitutes a bulk of the inter-country adoption placements, is an unsung story of generosity of heart and spirit.

It is not a matter of instituting more checks and balances, but enforcing stringently the ones that are already in place. When malpractices are uncovered, everyone involved should be penalised.

Nomita ChandyReceived on email

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Thank you for your open exploration of these abuses against the children of India.

Stephanie GilbertNewcastle, Australia.

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Highlighting the issue of corruption in inter-country adoption is essential in order to secure ethical guidelines for the international adoption industry, as this is a growing market worldwide.

Sunny JoReceived on e-mail

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I am an American adoptive parent of a boy from West Bengal. I adopted from India because I believed what I had always heard: that millions of orphans live in institutions in India, and that there could never be enough adoptive families to fill the need. In the last few years, I have become more aware of a different reality: one in which Indian families are turned away from agencies who favour foreigners and their fees; one in which children who live in orphanages and not always orphans; one in which children may be procured to fill a need. It was never my intention to participate in a system that allows even one child to be improperly separated from his or her natural family in the guise of humanitarian work.

Inger ForlandConnecticut, U.S.

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I am so glad that your magazine has taken up the issue of inter-country adoption. If the authorities do not stop these practices, it is only the media that can stop this from happening in the future.

Arun DohleGermany

Model nikahnama

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board's model nikahnama reflects its chauvinistic attitude towards women's rights and its support for regressive practices such as triple talaq ("A reluctant reform", June 3). Under the nikahnama, a couple opting for divorce must approach the Shariat courts rather than civil courts to settle any discord over the process. It must be noted that under the Shariat Act, 1937, Muslim men have the right to dissolve unilaterally a marriage without approaching civil courts, whereas Muslim women can dissolve a marriage only under the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act by approaching a civil court.

Owing to the various liberal interpretations given by the Supreme Court regarding the grounds of divorce under the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, it is almost easy for a Muslim woman to get a divorce. The declaration in the nikahnama that Muslims should desist from approaching courts actually refers to Muslim women as men can end a marriage without approaching civil courts.

The AIMPLB is a creation of neither the Constitution nor a law. It is totally unjust to leave the personal law of Muslims to the board. It is the duty of the government to codify and reform the personal law of Muslims. The courts should also have the courage to exercise the power of judicial review against such iniquitous laws.

J. VimalKozhikode, Kerala

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The model nikahnama unveiled by the AIMPLB can be, at best, described as a "guide" or a set of "do's and don'ts" in respect of a Muslim marriage. The nikahnama does not have any legal or religious sanctity and is therefore, not binding on Muslims. Moreover, the AIMPLB cannot claim itself to be the sole representative of Indian Muslims or the interpreter of their personal law.

S. BalakrishnanJamshedpur

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The fact that Muslim women themselves are opposing the second-class treatment meted out to them over decades is a welcome step. Progressive Muslim men should rise to the occasion and join hands in liberating women from the clutches of the conservatives. The nikahnama should be just and equitable, and protect the couple irrespective of gender.

Viji GaneshMadurai


The best way to put an end to the questionable sale of the two Mumbai Centaur hotels is to reverse the sale altogether and put them under the umbrella of the Indian Tourism Development Corporation after extracting an assurance of good conduct and productivity from workers ("A tale of two hotels," June 3).

If the State Trading Corporation, a Central public sector undertaking, which was on the disinvestments block, could show enviable results last fiscal, the Centaur hotels can as well do it, under pressure.

K.P. RajanMumbai

Court martial

The article "A court martial and a woman" (June 3) shows that the officers who are conducting the court martial are prejudiced against a woman officer, who was allegedly sexually harassed by certain officers. Such cases will send wrong signals to women officers in the Indian Air Force.

G.E.M. ManoharanCoimbatore

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The court martial of Anjalli Gupta seems to be proceeding in an autocratic way.

Under the provisions of the Constitution, every citizen is entitled to freedom of speech and expression, but she has not been allowed to speak publicly, though the court martial proceedings are open to the public.

Ravi RanjanVaranasi

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The manner in which the court martial of Anjalli Gupta is being carried out is questionable. The method used in conducting the case exposes the flaws in the system. Having officers under the command of the ASTE Commandant preside over the case severely compromises it.

It is sad to note that she does not even have the right to issue a statement to the media while the presiding officers can hold press conferences at will.

Arvind MenonReceived on emails

Gender issues

At a time when the Indian Medical Association is recommending the imposition of the one-child norm, it is indeed tragic to see the two-child norm being repealed ("A battle won," June 3). While a declining sex ratio is a tremendous problem, it should be addressed independently without compromising on population stabilisation measures.

D. AvinandanBangalore


You have rightly said that the people in Tamil Nadu are looking for an alternative to both the DMK and the AIADMK ("An AIADMK sweep", June 3).

V.S. PoornalingamDadabri Kota, Rajasthan

The Boeing deal

The Airbus Company has lost out to Boeing in the Air-India deal - nothing unusual in a commercial transaction of this type ("The Boeing deal", June 3). However, it is somewhat unusual for the Ambassador of the losing country, France, in this instance, to talk publicly about the "unfairness of the deal". His outburst against the Air India Board has to be understood in the light of the post-War history of France.

Kangayam R. RangaswamyWisconsin, U.S.


In an era of rapid scientific advancement, it is the responsibility of all members of society to come forward and eradicate such evils ("Witch-hunt in Orissa," June 3).


Einstein's century

It was well worth recalling Einstein's contributions when the International Year of Physics is being celebrated world over ("Einstein's century", May 20). The feature was most thought-provoking.

P.A. JayanNew Delhi

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The articles were inspiring to physics students who have the desire to invent something or learn about a new concept. It is hoped that Einstein's works will encourage medical students as well, and help them give more effective patient care.

Chandra BhushanNew Delhi

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Frontline is the only magazine in India that has always given due importance to topics such as science and technology, environment, history, social issues, women and child rights and human rights.

Amitabh ThakurLucknow

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I could not have asked for more from my favourite fortnightly magazine. Einstein emblazoned the scientific arena by his sheer talent. His concern for the uplift of human kind, his simple lifestyle, and his struggle for world peace were legendary and awe-inspiring.

Jyotiranjan BiswalAngul, Orissa

Tiger crisis

The widespread tiger crisis began after the decline of protection in the 1990s, which created a huge gap for poachers to enter sanctuaries and kill tigers for their skin ("A task force and its options," May 20). If the Project Tiger authorities fail to act now future generations will only see the remains of this mighty animal in museums or their colourful images in their drawing books.

Arjyalopa MishraCuttack, Orissa


The events in Ecuador show that it is the people who set the agenda ("The people prevail," May 20). This trend has become common in Latin America in the last few years, with Hugo Chavez leading the way.

HariVirudhunagar, Tamil Nadu


The article on Mahabalipuram was highly informative and interesting ("The secret of the seven pagodas," May 20).

K. AnanthrupeshNellore

India and China

Sino-Indian relations have passed through many difficult phases - Tibet, the war in 1962 and so on - before reaching this stage ("Moving Closer," May 6).

Neha ShahKolkata



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