Inter-country licence of Sofosh suspended, state yet to probe
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State authorities are yet to conduct an inquiry into the sudden suspension of "inter-country" licence of city's nodal adoption agency Sofosh (Society of Friends of Sassoon Hospital) by Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) — the nodal body for adoption of children in India. The Women and Child Development Commissionerate had been informed last month about the "temporary suspension" of licence.
Deputy Commissioner (Child Development) Rahul More, who was recently handed over the charge of adoptions, said, "It is a temporary suspension and action was taken after a NRI parent complained of "overcharging". The licence has been temporarily suspended and our officials will be conducting an inquiry,''said More.
CARA officials said the "temporary suspension" was slapped as the complaint was directly registered with them around six months back. "This is our usual procedure. The moment we get a complaint registered, we immediately suspend the inter-country licence. We can immediately restore the licence if there are no irregularities. We have also directed the state officials to check on any discrepancies,''said a CARA official.
The complaint was registered by an NRI parent for "overcharging" which is against the CARA guidelines. The guidelines which came into effect last year specifies that adoption fees is Rs 46,000 in the country while fees for inter-country is $ 5,000.
Talking to Newsline Sofosh's chairperson Suman Kirloskar said all the allegations are baseless. "We have already replied to CARA and we are awaiting their response. We have 3-4 children for adoption an hope that is not affected," said Kiroloskar.
Last year in July, the District Women and Child Development officer Suvarna Pawar had found four pregnant girls staying at Sofosh following which she had issued a show-cause notice. The matter is pending before the Child Rights Commission for action. The Sofosh's Shreevatsa unit is an adoption agency and it cannot house women. They agency needs to take separate permission for housing needy women. The agency, which has been carrying out several adoption awareness programmes, is among the nine adoption agencies in Pune.
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