CWC returns child to unwed mother’s custody after she revoked surrender deed | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

CWC returns child to unwed mother’s custody after she revoked surrender deed

BySahyaja MS
Jun 01, 2024 07:20 AM IST

Bombay High Court returns custody of baby to unwed mother after dispute over adoption deed, emphasizing child's welfare and amicable relations.

Mumbai: The Child Welfare Committee (CWC) in Matunga informed the Bombay High Court on Wednesday that it has returned the custody of a two-month-old baby to her unwed mother, following a dispute over a surrender deed for adoption. The court had previously directed the CWC to resolve the matter after a 23-year-old unwed mother petitioned it to nullify the deed and reclaim her child.

HT Image
HT Image

The mother’s plea explained that she had been coerced into signing the Deed of Surrender on April 5, 2024, believing it was necessary to secure her child’s return. She sought to reverse the surrender within the legally allowed period, stating that she never intended to give up her child for adoption.

Her plea detailed that she had been sexually and physically abused by her boss in the United Arab Emirates, resulting in an unplanned pregnancy. Fearing her conservative family’s reaction, she initially hid her pregnancy. She was advised to go to Asha Sadan, an orphanage in Byculla, where she delivered her daughter on March 29. Initially supported by her family, she later faced pressure to surrender her child.

On April 5, when she tried to take her baby home, she was compelled to sign the Deed of Surrender for adoption. Despite being told she had 60 days to revoke it, her application to do so on April 26 was refused by Asha Sadan. Determined to regain custody, she approached the CWC in Matunga on April 30. The CWC heard her case on May 2 and initiated coordination with the social worker at Asha Sadan.

Advocates for Asha Sadan informed the court that the mother could stay with her baby at the orphanage, emphasising that the child had not been declared free for adoption. They expressed concern over the allegations made by the mother, stating that they had tried to support her. The CWC confirmed it would decide on the mother’s application promptly, with the High Court setting a deadline of May 29 for a final decision.

On May 29, the CWC’s order to release the child to the mother’s custody was confirmed in court. Counsel for the respondents, including the adoption group and state representatives, acknowledged the reversal of the Deed of Surrender, rendering the petition unnecessary. The court urged all parties to prioritise the child’s welfare and maintain amicable relations.

The mother expressed relief but also recounted the trauma and stress she experienced throughout the process. The court noted that such situations naturally generate high emotions and urged both the mother and the respondents to work together constructively for the child’s benefit. The High Court underscored the importance of emotional strength and maintaining a cooperative relationship to ensure the child’s well-being. With the case resolved, the High Court disposed of the petition.

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