Woman reunited with baby after DNA test
Anupama, husband Ajith were reunited with their one-year-old son, who was forcibly given away for adoption by her parents who disapproved of her marriage
After a month-long battle, former Left student leader Anupama S Chandran and her husband Ajith Kumar on Wednesday were reunited with their one-year-old son, who was forcibly given away for adoption by her parents who disapproved of her marriage.
The Kerala State Council for Child Welfare Committee handed over the child after a family court was informed that DNA tests on the infant, Chandran and Kumar had established the couple as his parents.
“I am happy I got my baby back. Really indebted to all those who supported me. I will continue my struggle till officials who were part of this trafficking are punished,” Anupama told reporters outside the office of the Kerala State Council for Child Welfare Committee, where she had been staging a protest for the last 10 days.
The child had been under the care and protection of his adoptive parents in Andhra Pradesh till last Sunday.
Daughter of CPI-M leader S Jayachandran, Anupama had alleged last month that her parents had taken away her three-day-old son a year ago and put him up for adoption as they did not approve of her marriage with a Dalit man.
During the court proceedings at 2.30 pm, Child Welfare Committee (CWC) submitted the results of the DNA test which was conducted at Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB). During the one-and-a-half hour long proceedings held in the chamber of the judge K Biju Menon, the baby, who was in the custody of CWC at Nirmala Sishu Bhavan, was also produced before the court as per its directive.
The court then directed that the baby be medically examined and after completing all legal formalities, ordered the CWC to hand over the child to his mother. It also ordered that all adoption proceedings in this regard be dropped.
“Since the biological mother has come forward to receive the child, the adoption proceedings should be dropped and summarily dismissed,” the judge said.
The court had posted the matter for hearing on November 30, but rescheduled the hearing to Wednesday after the state government pleader appealed to hand over the baby to its parents at the earliest.
Anupama’s parents refused to comment on the court order but said “they did everything with the knowledge of the party and their daughter”.
CPI(M) leaders did not react to the court order till the time of going to press.
Welcoming the court order, Revolutionary Marxist Party leader and Vadakara MLA K K Rema said: “It is a historic day. The government and powerful party had to bend its knees before a mother. It is a victory for motherhood.”
Opposition leader V D Satheesan asked the state government not to protect officials who played a key role in the matter.
“It is ideal for the government to dismiss officials of the child welfare council who were part of a criminal conspiracy,” he said.
In the second week of October, Anupama claimed that her newborn baby was forcibly taken by her father, a senior leader of the CPI(M) trade union wing CITU, on the third day of delivery and handed over to the Kerala State Council for Child Welfare (SCCW)-run orphanage last year. The child was later given up for adoption in a hurry, in violation of several rules, she alleged.
With her father holding an influential position in the CPI(M), she alleged that she approached the local police station, DGP, child welfare committee and party leaders but justice was not delivered.
The woman’s father, however, maintained that the baby was born out of wedlock and hence, shifted to a government-run children’s home with Anupama’s consent. While he claimed his daughter had signed on stamp paper, Anupama later said she signed under duress.
On October 20, police filed a complaint against six people, including her parents, on the basis of her statement.
The issue kicked up a row as several writers and left intellectuals sought the intervention of chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who described the case as a “family affair”.
Anupama then staged a protest in front of the Kerala Secretariat, demanding to return her ‘missing’ son. Ajith also protested outside the Secretariat.
Later, Anupama started an indefinite strike outside the Kerala Child Welfare Committee office here.
As the issue turned controversial, Kerala health minister Veena George ordered the Women and Child Development Department to investigate the matter.
After the family court ordered to bring back the child from his adoptive parents in Andhra Pradesh and conduct a DNA test, child welfare committee officials brought the child to Thiruvananthapuram and a DNA test was conducted.
Anupama said she and her husband may plan a trip later if the Andhra couple wanted to see the baby again. “I feel bad for them. Officials cheated them,” she said.
Social activist and writer Dr J Devika said: “It is a victory of a mother over power and stubbornness.”