The WCD Ministry has said that it has asked all states and Union territories to issue instructions for conducting an inspection of all homes run by the Missionaries of Charity (MoC).
It has also asked the states and the Union territories to identify all potential institutions and organisations which could be involved in unlawful activities.
The Women and Child Development Ministry has asked the states to keep a close watch on the maternity hospitals and other facilities, which may also act as potential places for illegal and child trafficking.
The states have been asked to submit a status report by the end of the month.
The announcement comes days after Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi ordered all states to get the child-care homes run by the MoC inspected immediately.
The ministry also said they have instructed that all the state/Union territories should ensure that all the registered child care institutions, whether run by a state government or by voluntary or non-governmental organisations, are linked to specialised adoption agencies and are reflected in the online portal CARINGS within one month.
The Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System (CARINGS) is an app providing the adoption services. It is linked to CARA, the apex adoption body in the country.
The ministry said the move aims to address the grave concerns that have come to notice, through media reports, that some organisations have been propagating illegal adoption outside the domain of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, which is tantamount to child trafficking, the WCD Ministry said in a statement.
The ministry was hinting at the recent scandal at child care homes run by the MoC in Ranchi where staffers had allegedly sold four infants.
For speedy execution, the state governments and Union territories have also been asked to publish this direction in a local newspaper to ensure compliance by the institutions within the stipulated period, failing which action may be taken against the non-complying institutions, it said in a statement.
The Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 recognises the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) as the nodal agency for promoting and regulating in-country and inter-country adoptions, which is being facilitated through an online portal (CARINGS).
When contacted by The Dispatch, the MoC had denied the allegations and said they were ready for any kind of inspection.
In 2015, an ideological row between the ministry and the MoC surfaced over issues like the MoCs’ denial to give children to separated or divorced parents.
There was also a conflict over the MoCs not allowing adoption by single parents.
Gandhi had then said the government would have to derecognise the organisation if it continued to defy the revised guidelines.
“They have cited ideological issues with our adoption guidelines related to giving a child up for adoption to single, unwed mothers. They have their own agenda and now when they have to come under a unified secular agenda, they are refusing it,” the minister had said in a statement in 2015.
Following the row, the Missionaries of Charity has decided to stop putting children up for adoption.