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British doctor allowed to adopt disabled girl

mumbai Updated: Oct 22, 2011 02:22 IST
Mohan K Korappath
Mohan K Korappath
Hindustan Times
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A new beginning beckons three children with special needs who were abandoned by their biological parents, after the state government gave its to nod to their adoption by overseas residents.

In the first case, the state consented to UK citizen Dr Jennifer Lenhar’s decision to adopt Sumona, who will turn two next week.

In July, Lenhar had moved the Bombay high court to seek a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Central Adoption Resources Authority (CARA) to adopt Sumona, who is suffering from Peritoneal-ventricular Leukomalacia, a brain pathology that affects mostly newborns.

Affected individuals generally exhibit motor control problems or other developmental delays, and often develop cerebral palsy or epilepsy later in life. Sumona had been surrendered at birth by her 19-year-old mother, as she was born out of wedlock.

Lenhar, who is employed with the Royal London Hospital, had contended that being a pediatrician, she is capable giving Sumona appropriate care, in line with her medical needs. She had also argued that although she is a divorcee, she was mentally, physically and financially strong enough to look after Sumona.

Meanwhile, the state also gave its approval to a Dubai-based couple from Mumbai, who were keen on adopting two “special needs” siblings, as they do not have children even after 16 years of marriage.

In July, Chitra Chainani had moved high court, asking it to direct CARA to grant an NOC so that she can adopt siblings Vilas, 3, and Vaibhav, 2, from Society of Friends of Sassoon Hospitals (SOFOSH), a local adoption agency in Pune.

The siblings’ biological father, who became mentally unsound after their mother died, had abandoned them.

SOFOSH had referred the siblings for adoption and by July, all formalities were complied with.

The petitioners’ lawyer SM Gorwadkar had argued that despite this, CARA was not granting an NOC.

CARA counsel Vinod Joshi had told the court that they could not process the adoption unless they get a nod from the state government.

“A division bench of justice DD Sinha and justice VK Tahilramani had directed the state to communicate their decision by October 21,” said SOFOSH lawyer, Niranjan Mogre.

Assistant government pleader Molina Thakur, on Friday, told the court that the Women and Child Welfare Department has cleared the NOC, paving the way for the siblings’ adoption.