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American couple denied custody of boy

delhi Updated: Aug 31, 2009 23:19 IST
Harish V. Nair
Harish V. Nair
Hindustan Times
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The Delhi High Court on Monday refused permission to an American couple, with three biological children, to adopt a 10-year-old boy from a welfare home in Delhi.

The court suspected the couple, both aged above 50 and having two sons aged 21 and 16 and a daughter aged 19, wanted to keep the boy as a domestic help and exploit him.

The couple lives with their three children in Oshkosh, Winnebago, United States.

“The real intention in adopting the child appears to be to exploit him as a domestic help…its not satisfactorily explained as to why they are so keen in adopting an Indian

child and not a child from their own country, the process for which will be quicker and the child would adapt quickly to their family,” observed Justice V.B. Gupta.

Craig Allen Coates, a transaction processor with a bank, and his wife Cynthia Ann Coates, a nursing supervisor with a health care centre, had moved the High Court against a lower court’s refusal of permitting them to adpot the Indian child.

They had filed an application before the District Judge (West) to appoint them as his

guardian as per the procedure after the Delhi Government’s Child Welfare Committee allowed inter-country adoption of children.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 20,000 on the American couple for filing a “frivolous” appeal.

Allen Coates suffered from Cerebral Palsy since birth and needed an attendant all the time.

“One cannot completely

rule out the possibility that the child may be exploited and

used as a mere helper for Coates who is disabled,” said Justice Gupta.

Turning down the American couple’s plea that they just had the desire to “expand the family,” the court said, “as is apparent, the appellants are already blessed with three children. Both appellants are 50 years old, therefore a need for them to expand their family further at this stage does not sound very convincing.”

The minor boy whom they wished to adopt was found abandoned by the police in Okhla in South Delhi.

The boy was then sent to a child welfare home from where the couple chose him.