The Supreme Court reunited a two-year-old girl with her adopted parents in Mumbai after they were separated by a Court order for over two years.
The child had been living in a child-care facility since June 2019, when her adoption was declared illegal by the Mumbai Child Welfare Committee (CWC). In March of this year, the Bombay High Court also dismissed the adopted parents’ appeal.
The couple, who have no biological children, had gone to the Supreme Court to have the infant returned to them. In January 2019, they adopted her from a single mother who worked as a housemaid.
Due to her failing health and financial position, the biological mother willingly signed an adoption agreement with the couple in January 2019 under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956.
The child had just been with her adoptive parents for six months when the CWC in Mumbai deemed the adoption unlawful and placed the girl with a specific adoption agency, presuming the girl had been sold by the biological mother.
The couple petitioned the Supreme Court for the child’s custody after the Bombay High Court refused to return the youngster to her adoptive parents in March of this year.
The Judges called it unfortunate that the ruling resulted in the girl being placed in a child care home rather than with her birth or adoptive parents.
In their petition, the adoptive parents stated that the adoption was statutory under the Hindu Adoption Act and that the religious rite of dattak (adoption) was performed in the presence of spectators as required by the Act.
They were financially able to take custody of the child, and a Social Investigation Report (SIR) issued by a CWC-affiliated NGO found that the child’s health and wellbeing had improved significantly within six months of her adoption.
Indeed, the biological mother appeared in front of the Supreme Court and claimed that she had no responsibility for the girl who was entrusted to the petitioner.
The CWC, which had set aside the adoption agreement and filed an FIR against the couple and the child’s biological mother, was the only other party who was not heard. The child’s biological mother was required by the Court to file her testimony by the time of the upcoming trial.