38. Procedure for declaring a child legally free for adoption.-
(1) In case of orphan and abandoned child, the Committee shall make all efforts for tracing the parents or guardians of the child and on completion of such inquiry, if it is established that the child is either an orphan having no one to take care, or abandoned, the Committee shall declare the child legally free for adoption: Provided that such declaration shall be made within a period of two months from the date of production of the child, for children who are up to two years of age and within four months for children above two years of age: Provided further that notwithstanding anything contained in this regard in any other law for the time being in force, no first information report shall be registered against any biological parent in the process of inquiry relating to an abandoned or surrendered child under this Act.
(2) In case of surrendered child, the institution where the child has been placed by the Committee on an application for surrender, shall bring the case before the Committee immediately on completion of the period specified in section 35, for declaring the child legally free for adoption.
(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, a child of a mentally retarded parents or a unwanted child of victim of sexual assault, such child may be declared free for adoption by the Committee, by following the procedure under this Act.
(4) The decision to declare an orphan, abandoned or surrendered child as legally free for adoption shall be taken by at least three members of the Committee.
(5) The Committee shall inform the State Agency and the Authority regarding the number of children declared as legally free for adoption and number of cases pending for decision in the manner as may be prescribed, every month.