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Members will recall that Preet Mandir in Carona, Aldona had been in the
news for all the wrong reasons about six months ago (all the articles,
including an earlier Frontline piece had been posted here, and can be
seen in the archives). Now the sting operation by CNN-IBN has put them
on the spot.

Apparently, today and tomorrow, (22 and 23 June) CNN-IBN will be
telecasting their coverage of the Preet Mandir operations in Carona.

This once again underscores the growing inter-country adoption racket,
and the need to regulate and control it. What is tragic is that the work
of good organisations which are doing genuine work in the area of
adoption gets besmirched as a kind of side-effect.

What is shocking is the negligence (at best) or collusion of the Goa
government in granting them a licence, even when an enquiry by the same
Goa government was still pending.

The Gomantak Times articles of the past two days are pasted below.


Gomantak Times, 21/6/06

CNN-IBN sting operation 'exposes' Pune's 'baby shop'

TV report states that Preet Mandir broke "every adoption law"

Preet Mandir Price tag: 12,000$ for one child, 24,000$ for two

By Our Staff Reporter

Panjim:  Adoption is not just about creating a new family, but it's
about dollars for which every adoption law of the country is thrown
away, exposed a TV channel CNN IBN on Monday. Focusing on adoption
centre Preet Mandir, Pune –which also has a branch in Goa, in its
first part, the channel "revealed" that the owner of Preet Mandir JS
Bhasin has been "selling babies to foreigners for years, breaking
every adoption law in the country". According to CNN-IBN "Preet Mandir
is his baby shop"

It may be recalled the GT-Weekender had investigated that a child of a
16 year old minor mother was taken by Preet Mandir Goa, ostensibly for
shelter, but the illiterate mother was made to sign (put a thumb
impression) papers which said that the child was being given for
adoption. After the GT expose Chief Secretary Kiran Dhingra asked for
an inquiry. Even while the inquiry was going on, the state government
gave Preet Mandir –Goa, a licence for in country adoption.

Six CNN-IBN reporters did a Special Investigation over six months in
Pune, Rourkela, Cochin and London, which will be telecast from Monday
to Friday. In the first part, two CNN-IBN reporters posing as a
wealthy and childless NRI couple landed up at Preet Mandir to adopt a
child, where the owner Bhasin had babies on offer. Transcripts of the
conversation with Bhasin
CNN-IBN: "I have a medical problem and want to adopt a child, but my
husband is dead against it. I however, am convinced but I have no idea
how to go about the entire adoption process."
CNN-IBN: "How much do NRIs normally pay to adopt a child?"

J S Bhasin (Preet Mandir): "Well earlier it was between $6000 to
$8000. Then prices went up and it is now $12,000. You see Indians -
soldiers, rickshaw pullers - cannot afford to pay so much. They just
give about Rs 5000, but I say it's okay because then there are people
like you who are supporting them with $12,000."

J S Bhasin: "Can you say you earn roughly say $20,000 per year?"

CNN-IBN: "Yes, yes. In fact a lot more than that."

J S Bhasin: "You just select a child. We will do the rest of it done
legally-paperwork, passport documents for the baby - just don't

CNN-IBN: "So in $12,000 you will take care of all our needs at getting
this done?"

J S Bhasin: "Our social and legal department will do everything, so
don't worry. It's not a problem at all."

CNN-IBN: "If I decide to adopt siblings or twins?

J S Bhasin: "Double the price for two children."

BOX 1 inside the main story

'Let the series conclude, we'll react later'

When GT contacted Preet Mandir at Pune, all officials were
tight-lipped on the issue. Despite several attempts, GT couldn't get
across Bhasin. All that a spokesperson for Preet Mandir, on condition
of anonymity, said was, "At the moment this is a running story. Let
the whole series by CNN IBN come to a conclusion, then only we will
talk to the media."  Earlier, reacting to GT-Weekender's stories,
Preet Mandir had asserted that they followed all laws and were
perfectly legal. "We have been giving children hope and a future", Mr
Bhasin had said



JP Singh, Chief Secretary

"I have not seen the telecast. Let me look into it."

Snehlata Bhatikar, member, Juvenile Justice Board

"Generally speaking, government should be giving permission to run
shelter home and adoption rights only after proper scrutiny. They
should avoid giving license to anyone and everyone."

Arun Pandey, Director, ARZ

"The exposure has vindicated our concerns regarding Preet Mandir. We
demand that Goa government withdraws the in country adoption license
given to Preet Mandir, Goa and also shift all the children in the home
to Apna Ghar. The Chief Secretary should also conduct an inquiry how
in country adoption license was given to Preet Mandir by Women and
Child department when an inquiry was going on against them."


GT Edit, 21/6/06

When a homeless child is just a dollar deal

The ongoing CNN-IBN sting operation into the functioning of adoption
agencies, including the Pune and Goa based Preet Mandir, throws light
on the vexed issue on the process of adoption in this country.
While the legality of Preet Mandir's functioning and the allegations
that it functions as a bay shop, can be unearthed through a detailed
investigations, it is clear that the adoption process is loose and
uncontrolled because the guidelines and norms governing adoption are
intangible with no accountability mechanisms in place.

Unless the government of India issues clear central guidelines and not
leave it to the state to give permissions and enact laws, there will
be room for unscrupulous agencies, who will take dollars from adoptive
parents, and not even give crumbs to the birth parents, as was the
case with the sixteen year old minor mother who gave her child to
Preet Mandir thinking that they would be looking after the child. The
bay was later given for adoption.

The CNN-IBN report clearly showed that the owner of Preet Mandir was
ready to complete all formalities for a sum of 12,000$. This goes
against basic guidelines of the worlds most respected adoption
agencies in the world, the World Association for Children and Parents
(WACAP), founded in 1976,

WACAP thoroughly screens families who apply to adopt a child. Prior to
adoption, families must submit to a detailed home study and a criminal
background check. After the adoption, they require a series of post
placement reports and visits to confirm the well-being of children and

None of this was even talked about by Preet Mandir when two of the
channels reporters posed as prospective adoptive parents.

The government of India should also seriously study and adhere to the
Hague convention on Inter Country Adoption.

The Convention requires that certain key adoption functions in the
child's country of origin, be performed by that country's Central
Authority, either directly, by other public authorities, or by
accredited adoption service providers.

On the other hand, there is clearly not enough care to ensure that the
child being adopted is free of a life threatening disease or ahs the
possibility of other mental disorders. Even though the identity of the
birth parents are kept a secret, can adoption agencies in India,
including Preet Mandir, guarantee that every child taken from every
birth parent has been tested for all possible ailments and diseases
and disorders, and such information if any, has been passed on to
every adoptive parent. It is obvious that this hasn't happened. So
what are we talking about?

While agencies which do not follow norms, should be hauled up and
their licences revoked forthwith, the government should start looking
at this issue of positive and legal adoption with a greater degree of
seriousness. Right now the attitude is 'It's someone else's child, so
it's someone else's problem'

Gomantak Times, 22/6/06
Officials baffled at adoption licence given to Preet Mandir, pending


Panjim: In a crucial revelation connected to the activities of the Preet
Mandir institution, members of  the Juvenile Justice Board Goa, have
written a strong letter to the Director Women and Child Development,
objecting the haste in which an operating license was given to Preet
Mandir, Goa, even though an inquiry was far from over.

This letter, written almost six months ago, has assumed significance in
the light of the country wide CNN-IBN sting operation on adoption
agencies. As reported yesterday, Preet Mandir, based in Pune but with a
unit in Goa, is in a cloud over its adoption policies.

Even Chief Secretary JP Singh wasn’t aware of the certificate issued to
Preet Mandir and it’s ramifications. "I didn't know that license to
Preet Mandir, Goa, was given only in May 2006. I need some time to check
this out". 

However, Santosh Vaidya, Secretary, Women and Child Development (WCD) 
had admitted to GT, "Yes, Preet Mandir has been granted a license for 
in-country adoption”. At the same time he admitted that an inquiry
against the institution was still on. “Inquiry against Preet Mandir is
almost complete’, he said. 

That begs the question-why was a certificate given for in country
adoption to an institution against which there is a pending inquiry? 

It must be recalled that government had ordered an inquiry into the 
functioning of Preet Mandir after GT/Weekender exposed how an innocent 
mother was made to sign documents, that actually surrendered her 
child for adoption while she was made to believe that the baby was
just going to a home for care and shelter on July 30, 2005. Later, as 
few NGO's mounted pressure on Preet Mandir, the child was handed back
to the mother

Incidentally, Preet Mandir then was a Children's home registered under
section 6 of the Goa Children's Act, 2003, where children are taken in
for shelter and rehabilitation and not adoption.

Later, during enquiry before the Director, WCD and members of the 
Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) in the chamber of the Director, WCD on 
April 17, 2006, the minor mother had again admitted that Preet Mandir, 
Goa had initially refused to return her child stating, "once the child
surrendered, the child couldn't be taken back". 

Despite this background, the government hurriedly gave Preet Mandir,
Goa, the 
recognition certificate for in-country adoption.

GT investigations reveal that N D Agrawal, incharge Director, WCD, had 
on May 22, 2006, written to JJB members stating that the government 
has issued a recognition certificate for in-country adoption to Preet 
Mandir for a period of three years. 

When contacted TS Sawant, Director, WCD said, "I wouldn't be able to 
tell when and how license was given to Preet Mandir for in-country 
adoption as it was done when I had gone on a 40 day leave." The 
question here is that why was there a hurry to issue to Preet Mandir a
when the Director was on leave and an inquiry pending against Preet 

Question everything -- Karl Marx

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