Delhi HC Accepts Plea for Inter Country Adoption By Foreign Couple; No Violation of CARA Guidelines Established

Delhi High Court Law Insider

Akansha Upadhyay 

Published on – 27 November 2022 at 19:55 IST

Delhi High Court permits for intra-country adoption by a foreign couple, directing authorities to expeditiously complete all legal formalities related to the adoption of a minor child with special needs found abandoned in a cremation ground.

Justice Yashwant Verma said that the child should be kept in the warmth of a loving family and in a home so that he can make his place in the world in the years to come.

“It is important to bear in mind that the bonds of family are not forged merely by blood but bonded by the love and care that we extend to those around us. The Court shudders at even imagining the first waking hours of Child “S” as she entered this world.”

“Her fate thus cannot be left to the vagaries of litigation or to competing forces which seek to stake a claim upon her very existence and life, her body and soul. The Court notes that the process of adoption has stretched over three years already,”

The court accepted the plea of ​​the foreign couple who were earlier given No Objection Certificate (NOC) by CARA to adopt the child, who was in an orphanage located in Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly for over two years matched for adoption. However, before the adoption could be finalised, a letter was issued to the couple by the orphanage, the adoption agency, on August 10, informing them that the adoption case was pending in the district court regarding the adoption of the child. 

The proposed adoption was being investigated following a complaint to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), which alleged that the adoption was illegal because it violates the priority principle, which gives priority to parents. While setting aside the said communication, Justice Verma directed CARA to take further steps to adopt the process as per the NOC issued by the agency.

The bench observed that child “S” was made available for inter-country adoption only after no reservation was made unquestionably by a resident Indian, NRI or OCI card holder within the period prescribed under the Rules.

The court further said that while the rules give primacy to resident Indians, NRIs and OCI card holders, they cannot be interpreted to require CARA to continuously postpone the adoption process till such time.

Observing that the act of adoption is not one of redemption or grace, Justice Verma said that, “Bearing in mind the fact that Child “S” was abandoned in 2019, it is expected that all concerned authorities shall aid and assist in the expeditious conclusion of all legal formalities relating to her adoption by the petitioners,” the court said.

Further adding that, “There perhaps can be no greater imaginable tragedy in the world than of a child who is orphaned or abandoned. An orphaned or abandoned child impacts the very foundation of civilised society and shakes the core of our conscience. This for every child, nay every living being, must be loved, provided care and comfort, a home and a family, the opportunity to breathe and exist,”

The court took note of the objection made by the NCPCR in its counter affidavit, which stated that multiple adoptions were being finalized in favor of parents living in Malta. The commission also indicated the possibility of irregularities in the process of adoption of a minor.

However, the court said that it is unable to appreciate the objection that is being sought to be raised especially when no violation of fundamental process relating to the existing adoption can be neither pointed out nor established.

“If a failure on the part of a resident Indian be the cause for a child being made available for inter- country adoption, that cannot possibly be viewed as constituting a valid or cogent ground to either doubt the validity of the adoption or question the integrity of the adoption process,”

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