In an important judgement, the Bombay High Court has held that a couple with an adopted child can adopt a second child of the same sex and there was no provision in law which imposes restriction on this.
"Parents are entitled to adopt a child irrespective of the fact that they already have a living adoptive child of the same sex," ruled Justice D G Karnik, while hearing the plea of US-based Indian couple, Christopher Drury, a person of Indian origin and his wife Shenaz, an overseas citizen of India, who had adopted a girl in 2008 and wanted to adopt another girl now.
The couple had moved the court through Indian Association for Promotion of Adoption and Child Welfare, an agency recognised by Central Adoption and Resource Authority.
The judge noted that provisions of Juvenile Justice (Care and protection of children) Act, 2000, do not impose restrictions on a couple with an adopted child to adopt another child of the same sex.
The Juvenile Justice Act allows parents of a biological child to adopt another child of the same sex but has no express provision for the second adoption of a same sex child. Hence the petition sought to clarify the position in law.
The medical report of the child, Priyanka, whom the couple wanted to adopt, revealed that she had an abnormality in the heart. However, the court held that the health of the child would not come in the way of her adoption.
"The adoptive parents, who are present before me, have inspected the medical reports and are aware of the abnormality and yet have decided to adopt her," the judge noted in the order delivered last week.
The judge further held that it was in the interest of the minor child, Priyanka, to grant permission for her adoption. The court also took into consideration the recommendation made by the Child Welfare Committee in April 2010 that the girl was free for adoption.