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High Court favours adoption of 6-yr-old boy by American foster mother

Bombay High Court

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today observed that a six-year-old boy seems to be happy with his foster mother, who wants to adopt him but is facing hurdles in the process in view of absence of approval from the authorities concerned.

After interviewing the boy in court, a division bench of justices V M Kanade and B P Colabawala said, “The child looks happy with his foster mother. Law should be followed in spirit and not in letter.”

The court, while extending the custody of the child to his foster mother, adjourned the hearing to July 9, when it is likely to pass a detailed order.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by the American woman married to an Indian, seeking to adopt the boy with special needs who has been in her foster care. The woman approached the high court after her application for adopting the child was not accepted by Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA).

While CARA claims their No Objection Certificate (NOC) is required in this case as the woman is an American, the applicant said that she has been living in India since her marriage six years ago and she even has PAN card and other documents.

The child was born to an unwed woman who had put him in a Pune-based adoption agency. The adoption agency took care of him till the age of six after which he was sent to foster home and advertisements were issued for his adoption.

The adoption agency today informed the court that the adoption process needs to be completed at the earliest so that the boy gets a birth certificate, which would in turn facilitate in securing admission in school.

While CARA continued to oppose the petition, the petitioner argued that CARA has no specific procedures in cases like hers where one parent is Indian by birth and another has taken Indian citizenship after marriage.

The court had on the last hearing observed that if the child and foster mother have developed affinity towards each other then rules for adoption need not be strictly followed as the child’s welfare is important and of utmost concern.

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