Daksha Dijck, the 34-year-old clinical psychologist who had come to Mumbai from Netherlands in search of her biological parents, had to face disappointment on Friday when the Bombay High Court dismissed her petition alleging that she was kidnapped and given up for adoption.
A division bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice PD Kode said the adoption house, Shraddhanand Mahila Ashram at Matunga, from where a Dutch couple adopted Dijck in 1975, had the right to keep her biological parents’ identity confidential.
“We agree with the contention raised by the adoption house that they must respect privacy of an unwed mother and withhold her identity,” Justice Khanwilkar said.
Dijck, who has worked as a scientist at Maastricht University, had filed the petition alleging she was probably kidnapped when she was an infant and placed for international adoption by the adoption agency.
Dijck was given in adoption to Johan Van Dijck in 1975 through Wereldkinderen, an agency based in Hague.
On Friday, Dijck’s lawyer, Pradeep Havnur, argued that according to a Supreme Court judgement in an adoption case, an adult had a right to seek information of his biological parents.
Havnur argued that the adoption house had refused to disclose the identity of Dijck’s biological parents.
Justice Khanwilkar, citing the apex court order, said if Dijck wanted information on her biological parents, she should have made her adoptive parents respondents.
He said the adoptive parents could ask for this information and not the child.
Justice Khanwilkar said revealing the details was at the discretion of the adoption agency.
The Matunga-based agency had told Dijck that it had a confidentiality clause and cannot disclose the identity of her parents.
Havnur said the agency had earlier claimed that it did not have any records, including the deed of abandonment of child. “How can they say they have a confidentiality clause when the papers allegedly don’t exist?” Havnur asked.
The court said that at the time of adoption, the high court must have scrutinised all the documents before allowing the adoption by a foreign couple.