On November 20, 2023, the Supreme Court issued a directive, urging the Secretary in charge of nodal departments overseeing the implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act in all States to conduct bi-monthly identification drives. The purpose of these drives is to identify orphaned, abandoned, or surrendered children, facilitating their entry into the adoption process in India.Inefficiencies In The Adoption Process The Supreme Court emphasised the mismatch between the number of legally adoptable children and registered prospective adoptive parents. In response to this, the court mandated all states and union territories (UTs) to organise bi-monthly drives aimed at identifying children in the abandoned and surrendered (OAS) category within child care institutions. The directive was issued to address the inefficiencies in the adoption process, given the limited number of adoptions compared to the potential adoptive parents.Simplifying Legal Procedures Involved In Child Adoption This directive follows the court's acknowledgment of the tedious nature of the child adoption process in India. Responding to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by The Temple of Healing, which advocated for simplifying the legal procedures involved in child adoption, the Supreme Court emphasised the need to streamline adoption processes. This urgency is underscored by the reported annual figure of only 4,000 adoptions in the country.Data Compilation Need Of The HourA bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala, and Justice Manoj Misra highlighted the urgency of the identification exercises, stating that the initial drive should be completed by December 7. Additionally, the court instructed all states and UTs to compile and submit data on adoptions under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act (HAMA) to the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) Director by January 31, 2024.The Supreme Court further mandated the establishment of Specialized Adoption Agencies (SAAs) within every district by January 31, 2024. The nodal department responsible for implementing the Juvenile Justice Act is required to communicate to the director of the CARA and the Secretary of the Ministry of Women and Child Development by the same date.