The phone at an adoption centre in Talwandi Khurd is continuously ringing since Tuesday evening. Why? Eager couples are making enquiries to adopt a 15-day-old baby boy who was found dumped outside the blood bank of Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital on Tuesday.
Ever since deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat handed the baby over to the ashram, and the news spread, caretakers have hardly had time to breathe.
Abandoned by his own parents, the baby is now the apple of all eyes at the Swami Ganganand Bhuri Wale International Foundation.
At least 10 childless couples queued up at the centre on Wednesday to adopt the infant, fondly named Harnoor by ashram authorities. The centre has received another 26 calls, all asking about the adoption procedure.
Baby boy in perfect health
There is only one other baby in the ashram as young as Harnoor. Ashram secretary, Kuldip Singh Mann, said, “There are 18 babies aged between seven and eight months here. Out of them, two are baby boys including Harnoor. In past cases, we have received a one and a half-month-old baby girl with two fingers and an arm missing, but Harnoor’s case is rare. He is a baby boy in perfect health. Medical tests have confirmed that he is hale and hearty.”
Mann also added, “Many have queued up to adopt the baby. In one case, a municipal corporation employee approached to take custody on Tuesday evening even before he was sent to the ashram.”
Ashram president Bibi Jasvir Kaur said, “I have received around 26 calls since morning, apart from the seven I received on Tuesday evening. Few couples wanted to see the child but we could not allow that for hygiene concerns.”
Parents who have daughters and want a son have also approached ashram authorities.
“In the afternoon, two parents turned up and wanted to take the child home. It’s quite heartwarming to see such a response, but also difficult to send them back. We have to take care of all legal formalities before giving up the baby to a new family,” said Mann.
He further added, “Under the Guidelines Governing Adoption of Children, 2015, those wanting to adopt have to apply online at cara.nic.in. This involves a two-month procedure under which we make efforts to look for the real parents of the baby. After the child is declared legally free for adoption, the government locates a suitable family for the baby through the online system.”
Bibi Jasvir said, “I request parents to follow the online procedure and not visit the ashram.”
She also added that majority of parents were childless, but there were also those who had one or two daughters and were looking for a male child.