12:18 GMT26 January 2020
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    The Indian branch of the Special Adoption Agency is currently being investigated after Spanish adoptive parents issued a complaint in which they stated that the information they had received prior to the adoption was a far cry from reality.

    The secretary of the Juvenile Justice Committee of Madhya Pradesh High Court has specified that news centering on a girl who was adopted from the Indian city of Bhopal will not be published in newspapers, other print and electronic media as it is illegal in the country to reveal the identity of a care-seeking child, India’s Window to News reported.

    The adoption fraud was revealed after a Spanish couple turned down an Indian girl adopted back in January from a Special Adoption Agency, after discovering that she was 13 years of age instead of 7, as they were told during the adoption procedure.

    The social services have for now claimed custody over the girl, who has been placed in a child and adolescent protection center in Aragon, with social services trying to work out the most plausible options for her and to guarantee her rights.

    According to the child care authorities, one option is a new adoptive family that could be potentially be found “here, in another Spanish region, or even in India” and another way out is reportedly a foster family. As the agency’s spokesperson stated, the priority is to find the most convenient alternative for the child, who has a choice since she was granted Spanish citizenship at the time of the adoption. 

    Meanwhile, Indian Minister for the Development of Women and Children Maneka Gandhi took to Twitter to address the case:

    It is very unfortunate that the adopted girl has been abandoned in Spain. I have requested our Ambassador in Spain, Sh. D.B. Venkatesh Varma, to immediately send her back to India where we will ensure her rehabilitation and safe custody," she noted.

    The Bhopal-based SAA, Udaan, is now being scrutinized by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) and the Central Adoption Resources Agency (CARA) for the alleged irregularity and fraud, with a couple of counts having being reported earlier. 

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    The Spanish couple originally directed their complaint to the Spanish and Indian SAA, saying she looked older and taller than they had been told. The couple also found that the girl was not new to menstrual cycles, the complaint had it.  

    The director general of the Central Asian Adoption Authority (CARA), Deepak Kumar, cited them as saying that they "were deceived about the girl's actual age.”

    They subsequently handed over the child, claiming that they were not mentally prepared to adopt a teenager, according to the Statesman.


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