The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed an aged American couple to adopt a dyslexic Indian child after an expert committee gave a favourable opinion. The committee was formed on the directions of the apex court.
A bench comprising Justices Markandeya Katju and T.S. Thakur set aside a Delhi High Court verdict that had declined permission to Craig Allen Coates and his wife to adopt a nine-year-old boy. The high court had expressed apprehension about the couple’s decision.
The apex court bench gave the green signal to the couple, who already have three children in the US. It further directed the Centre to constitute a committee to decide such inter-country adoption cases, especially involving disabled children, in future.
The four-member committee in this case was constituted at the behest of solicitor-general Gopal Subramanium. It included experts headed by professor Rajat Ray, head of the Department of Psychiatry, AIIMS. The panel interviewed Coates’s wife Cynthia and the child. In its report, the committee said the minor could get the best emotional support from the couple.
The Supreme Court quashed concurrent findings of the district judge and the Delhi High Court, which had disallowed the couple from adoption.
Both had concluded that they were trying to take the child abroad and abuse him as a domestic servant. The high court further held that the couple already had two sons and a daughter and, therefore, did not need another child.
Coates, a patient of cerebral palsy, approached the Supreme Court after the high court on August 31, 2009, quashed his request challenging the district judge’s order.