Kerala newborn case: Court stays adoption, orders DNA test

Oct 25, 2021 05:21 PM IST

In her police complaint, Anupama S Chandran, alleged her father took away and handed over her baby to a Kerala State Council for Child Welfare-run orphanage

A family court in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday stayed the adoption of a baby after the state government opposed it in light of the allegations of the daughter of a ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI (M) leader that her parents snatched and put her newborn up for adoption as they disapproved of her relationship with her Dalit husband.

File photo: Anupama with her husband Ajith staging a fast outside Kerala secretariat. (Vivek R Nair/HT photo)
File photo: Anupama with her husband Ajith staging a fast outside Kerala secretariat. (Vivek R Nair/HT photo)

Anupama S Chandran, the daughter and a former student activist, sat on a fast outside the state secretariat seeking her baby back and action against those who allegedly kidnapped her newborn. In her police complaint, Chandran alleged her father took away and handed over the baby to a Kerala State Council for Child Welfare-run orphanage. The baby was later reportedly given to a family from Andhra Pradesh in a hurry flouting adoption rules.

The court ordered a DNA test and asked the state Child Welfare Committee to furnish details whether the baby was abandoned or admitted to a children’s home by someone. “There are enough ambiguities in records. Was the child abandoned or received from its guardians?” the court asked the panel to explain when it hears the matter next on November 1. The court asked police to submit an action taken report and other details of the case in a sealed cover. The baby will remain with the Andhra family till then.

Chandran welcomed the court’s order saying she feels she is getting closer to getting her child back. “I am happy my six-month fight for my baby evoked some results for the first time. I have immense faith in the judiciary,” she said. She said even after getting her child back, she will continue her fight against her tormentors and government agencies, who failed her.

Legal experts said she has to cross more hurdles to get her baby back after the DNA test. The foster parents or the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) can appeal against the family court’s decision in a higher court. CARA is the nodal agency for all adoption-related issues in the country.

The Kerala government on Friday ordered a probe into “serious lapses and delay” on the part of its agencies in the case. The Kerala State Women’s Commission on Thursday also ordered an inquiry into the matter.

The CPI (M) too pledged support to Chandran. Chandran has said the party was aware of everything and did not expect justice from it. She added it was forced to react as the case has hit national headlines. Chandran said she has been struggling to trace her baby.

PS Jayachandran, Chandran’s father, has claimed they sent the baby to the government-run children’s home in Thiruvananthapuram with his daughter’s consent. He added Chandran signed on stamp paper but the daughter has said she did so under duress.

The opposition Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party sought a probe and the baby’s return to the mother.

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