Delhi HC: Christian couple adopt child w/o following right Laws for Adoption

Snehal Upadhyay-

Published on August 04, 2021 at 10:04 AM

Delhi High Court called out a couple from the United States who were trying to adopt a child in India, under the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act (HAMA).

Even after belonging to a different religion, the Court looked at humanitarian perspectives and granted the custody of the child to them.

A single bench of Justice Asha Menon remarked that “The couple had been struggling to adopt the child, but that they had only themselves to blame”.

With this decision, the Court has made it evident that while adoption of children, the religion of the adoptive parents does not matter, as long as the procedure under the law is followed.

In the aforementioned case, the couple had sought directions to the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) to issue them a no-objection certificate (NOC) for adopting the child, so that they can seek directions to the passport authority to make child’s passport with their name as parents.

CARA denied doing so on the ground that the child was not “validly adopted” which adversely made the passport authority not issue a passport.

Then the couple reached the Delhi High Court. The Court was aware of the fact that the couple instead of following the procedure under the Juvenile Justice Act, drew an adoption deed under the HAMA.

“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 blamed for sticking to the rules,” Justice Menon pointed out.

The Court further said that the couple being a Christian cannot adopt under the HAMA.

It further came out to the Court about the fact that the biological parents while handing over the child to Sister, mentioned handing over the child to the petitioners.

After taking this fact into consideration, the Court decided, “There is no Court order declaring the minor to be the adopted child of the petitioners. Probably being aware of the procedure for adoption, no specific prayer has been made in the instant petition to this Court for such a declaration. Be that as it may, this Court is inclined to explore such a possibility.”

While pronouncing the judgment, the Court said that the adoptive parents would have the same rights and duties as any biological parent have towards their child and directed CARA to issue the requisite NOC on compliance of provisions of the JJ Act dealing with Non-Resident Indians (NRI) or Overseas Citizens of India (OCI).

Also Read: Supreme Court: Stop illegal adoption of children orphaned by COVID-19

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