Evolve mechanism to ascertain medical condition of adopters: HC

ByKanchan Chaudhari
Feb 25, 2020 11:50 PM IST

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court (HC) has directed the Central Adoption Resource Authority (Cara) to evolve a stringent mechanism to ensure that all aspects of adoption proposals, including medical condition of prospective adoptive parents, are taken into consideration before the organisation grants non-objection certificate (NOC) for an adoption.

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HT Image

The HC order comes after Cara granted NOC for adoption of an Indian child by a Belgian couple last year even though both the adoptive parents suffered from serious health conditions.

“Considering what has happened in the [present] case, things cannot be left as they stand,” said justice GS Kulkarni and directed the ministry of women and child development to “oversee and conduct random surveys of Cara’s functioning at all levels by deputing appropriate officers from the ministry”.

Justice Kulkarni said that in August, 2019, Cara had granted NOC for the adoption of a three-year-old Indian boy to a Belgian couple without analysing their health conditions. While the adoptive father had an inherent medical condition, his wife, Charcot Marie Tooth, had a severe heart condition.

The court summoned Cara director, Sanjay Barshilia, and joint director, Dr. Jagannath Pati, on February 17. Both of them agreed that there were serious lapses in the case and adoption proposals should have been handled more carefully and sensitively. Barshilia told the court that the NOC granted to the Belgian couple would be revoked.

Justice Kulkarni said Cara is expected to scrutinise every proposal from all facets, especially the medical condition of adoptive parents. “It is expected that the reports are placed before medical experts for their comments and observations in context of the future of the child to be given in for adoption,” he added.

The judge said that reports from medical experts should be included in the adoption file to ensure that the court concerned would not have any difficulty in proceeding with the proposal.

Under the law, high courts are required to approve both domestic and international adoptions.

The HC has directed Cara to present before it the new mechanism during the next hearing on March 26.

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