New Delhi, Aug 2 (PTI) The Delhi High Court has declared a Christian couple, who had wrongly adopted a minor under the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act (HAMA) at the time of birth, to be adoptive parents of the six-year-old girl as they took good care of her.
The court noted that the procedure prescribed for adoption under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act has not been adhered to and the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) cannot be, therefore, faulted in refusing to issue the no-objection certificate (NOC) to enable them to take their ‘adopted child' to the United States of America, on the ground that she was not validly adopted.
The court also directed CARA to issue requisite NOC to the couple and asked the Centre to issue a passport to the child.
“It is further directed that CARA shall not insist on compliance of provisions of Section 59(3) in the JJ Act dealing with NRIs or OCIs. Additionally, CARA shall also ensure that for a period of two years, an authorised agency, recognised by it for this purpose, submits the Home Study Reports at quarterly and half yearly intervals to CARA,” Justice Asha Menon said in a recent judgement.
The court asked the couple to give an undertaking to the registrar that they shall bring up the minor as their own biological child and give her adequate educational and other developmental opportunities within their means and take care of her medical needs and they shall also apply for obtaining US citizenship for their adopted daughter.
The court's verdict came on a plea by the Christian couple, who described themselves as the adoptive parents of the minor, seeking direction to CARA to issue them NOC to enable them to take their adopted child to USA and to the Centre to issue a passport to the girl while mentioning them as her parents.
The court also observed that this case reflected how easily it was possible to set at naught the law intended to protect the welfare, well-being and the rights of the minors.
“A complete go by has been given to the provisions of the JJ Act, whether of 2015 or of 2000. After having so carelessly flouted the law of this land, a plea of humanitarian concerns is flashed before the court, expecting the court to discharge the burden of undoing the wrongs and simultaneously exonerating the wrongdoers,” it said.
It further observed that child trafficking is a pernicious practice that the State has sought to address by various legislative means.
“Since trafficking occurs also for the purpose of adoption, in addition to all other reasons, actions, internationally and nationally, have been taken, to prevent it happening, by prescribing the method and process for adopting a child. Despite that, people, who are well educated, circumvent all such provisions for their private gain,” it said.
CARA's counsel contended that the couple had not validly adopted the minor due to which the authority could not issue an NOC to them and that the child had not come through the child welfare committee, as it was neither surrendered nor found abandoned, and the CWC had not declared the child fit for adoption.
The high court noted that earlier a suit filed by the couple before a trial court in Ferozepur was dismissed on the ground that the adoption deed was void being contrary to the provisions HAMA as the biological parents and the adoptive parents are Christians by faith.
The high court said it is established that the minor has not been validly adopted by the petitioners and the adoption deed drawn up under the HAMA is invalid as the parties are Christians and not Hindus.
“Thus, no valid adoption deed exists to establish the relationship between the petitioners and the minor. No court has declared the minor to be the adopted child of the petitioners. The procedure prescribed for adoption under the JJ Act has also not been adhered to. The CARA cannot be, therefore, faulted in refusing to issue the NOC on the ground that the child has not been validly adopted,” it said.
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