Apr 12, 2024

Online Adoption Scams: How to Protect Yourself

Recently, the Central Bureau of Investigation rescued three infants from a child trafficking ring in Delhi and Haryana. They arrested seven people including a woman and a hospital staffer for buying and selling children. The CBI authorities also seized Rs 5.5 lakh in cash and fabricated adoption-related documents during their search. 

This incident sheds light on the new ways of trafficking children within and outside India. The arrested people used social media platforms including Facebook and WhatsApp to find couples seeking to adopt babies. Infants were taken from surrogate mothers and parents and sold to the prospective adoptive parents for an amount between Rs 4-6 Lakhs.

What are the laws against child trafficking in India?

According to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 (JJ Act), recruiting, transporting, transferring, harbouring, or receiving children within or outside India is known as child trafficking. The punishment for child trafficking under the JJ Act is jail time of 7 years to life, and a fine.

Under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, of 1956, if a person buys or sells a child for commercial sexual exploitation and other immoral purposes, the punishment can be jail time of 7 years to life imprisonment, and a fine. Trafficking of a child for forced labour or sale of their organs is also a punishable offence. 

Protection and Rehabilitation:

According to the 2018 National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 51% of the trafficking victims in India were children and 80% of them were girls. 

Under the JJ Act, Special Juvenile Police Units (SJPU) and Child Welfare Committees (CWC) have been established to ensure that these children receive the necessary support, care, and rehabilitation they need. These units and committees work together to provide children a safe and nurturing environment, help them to rebuild their lives and regain their dignity and self-worth. The process includes psychological counselling, educational support, vocational training, and family reunification efforts. These organisations also collaborate with non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, and government agencies to create a comprehensive support network for trafficking survivors.

What can you do if you suspect someone of child trafficking? 


If you suspect someone is trafficking a child, you can file a First Information Report at your nearest police station or online using this procedure. If a police officer does not accept your complaint, you can write down your complaint and send it to the Superintendent of Police. If the Superintendent feels that there is merit in your case, then they can appoint police personnel to start an investigation on the same. 

Learn more about F.I.Rs through our Explainer.


CHILDLINE 1098 is a free 24/7, 365 days a year emergency phone service for children in need of aid and assistance.

CHILDLINE India Foundation (CIF) serves as the primary agency under the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development for the establishment, management, and oversight of the nationwide CHILDLINE 1098 service. 


The following NGOs provide pro bono legal services for anti-trafficking:

  1. Socio-Legal Information Centre: Their Anti-Trafficking initiative helps in filing public interest cases on issues affecting children in both High Courts and the Supreme Court of India. 
  2. Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation: One can report a case to KSCF’s Complaint Cell by calling 1800-102-7222.
  3. CRY India: Child Rights and You, India, has a solution-oriented approach to combat child trafficking through academic support centres, Back to School Initiative, and Re-Enroll School Dropout initiative.