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Print information about adoption agencies and helpline when reporting on child abandonment

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A newborn dumped in a garbage bin, a child abandoned in a field, a three-day-old baby found by cops in a drain…

We often read and hear about these awful news reports. Media continues to report on children being dumped, abandoned, or even killed because of the inability or unwillingness of their parents or relatives to take care of them.

These reports are meant to raise awareness, but they only end up exposing the reader to sensationalized content without any information on nearest Specialised Adoption Agencies, where a child can be safely and anonymously surrendered instead of being abandoned or dumped. 

When a parent or guardian is unable or unwilling to raise their child, The Juvenile Justice Act of India allows parents and guardians to legally surrender their child over to competent authorities or specialised adoption agencies, without any adverse consequences. These children have a functional path for entering India’s legal adoption process and being adopted into a loving family.

When reporting on child abandonment stories, media needs to create awareness by reminding people that safe, anonymous, and legal surrender of a child is possible through Specialised Adoption Agencies. The family can also call Childline at 1098, a 24/7 helpline for children, to get more information about surrendering a child.

Please include this crucial information in every news report about child abandonment:  “Unsafe child abandonment is illegal and puts children’s lives and future at risk. A child can be legally and anonymously relinquished at a specialised adoption agency. To find the nearest specialised adoption agency, call ChildLine at 1098 or go to http://cara.nic.in/Stakeholders/India_map.html and select any state.”

With my team at Where Are India’s Children, I have started this petition asking all media houses in India to follow safe reporting practices when reporting on child abandonment.

Sign this petition. You could be saving a little one’s life. #SafeSurrender