Adopted minors can now seek passports in the name of their adoptive parents.
The Bombay High Court on Friday directed the passport authorities to issue a passport to a five-year-old boy in the name of his adoptive father, a Pune-based businessman.
The businessman had moved the high court in March after the passport authorities rejected an application seeking a passport for the boy because
it mentioned the adoptive father’s name as the boy’s middle name instead of his biological father’s.
The businessman had married a divorcee, and had adopted her son in October 2008 as per provisions of the under the Special Marriage Act.
The passport authorities had cited a rule of Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) that barred using the adoptive father’s name as middle name on passports.
The petitioner contended that the authorities did not consider that the process of adoption was legally completed and after adoption, the petitioner’s personal law treats the child as his son.
The MEA contested the petition saying biological relationship prevails even in case of adoption.
The division bench of Acting Chief Justice J.N. Patel and Justice S.C. Dharmadhikari, however, found a solution.
The judges discarded the contention saying the MEA rule pertained to stepfathers and was not applicable to adoptions undertaken as per customs.
The judges directed the authorities to issue a passport to the boy by replacing his biological father’s name with that of his adoptive father’s.
While issuing the direction the high court also took into consideration that the boy’s biological father had no objection on the removal of his own name, and using that of the adoptive father.