If a child and his foster mother develop affinity towards each other, then rules for adoption need not be strictly followed as the child’s welfare is important and of utmost concern, the Bombay High Court said while continuing the custody of a six-year-old boy with his foster parents.
A division bench of justices V M Kanade and B P Colabawala was hearing a petition filed by an American woman married to an Indian, seeking to adopt a six-year-old 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 the Central Adoption Resource Agency (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 to an Indian citizen six years ago and she even has PAN card and other documents.
The high court while posting the matter for hearing on June 29 observed that it understands the anxiety of CARA but in this case the agency has no role to play as the couple (petitioner and her husband) are Indian nationals.
“Here the child and the foster mother have developed affinity towards each other. Are you (CARA) going to say that you will have to go by the rules? Do rules say love and affection is immaterial? When the petitioner is best fit in all respects for adopting the child then we cannot go into technicalities,” Justice Kanade said.
Government pleader D N Nalavade, appearing for CARA, argued that there are 8,693 Indian parents waiting in the adoption list.
“The petitioner was supposed to take care of the child as a stop gap arrangement. But now she wants to adopt him. This will jeopardise the entire process and such jump cut in the waiting list cannot be allowed,” he argued.
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.